Keywords: Immigration Detention; Dangerousness; Risk of Absconding; Justices of the Peace; Police; Italy.
The paper proposes that immigration detention has been turned into a quick surrogate of criminal policies that the police may use for the purpose of managing the 'dangerous' populations in the urban space, with the purpose of producing a (more ideal than real) ordered and secure public space. Dangerousness and risk have recently become core concepts in the Italian immigration law with regards to detention and deportation. We found that the police and judges of the Peace abuse the rhetoric of dangerousness and risk in a way that is altering the very nature of immigration detention and its declared functions. Drawing from about 400 removal decrees and detention orders collected in Bari and Bologna, the paper argues that immigration detention in Italy is a dispositif for selecting and containing what we might name as a specific 'dangerous mobility', rather than for removing irregular immigration tout court. We will focus on how a specific 'rhetoric of dangerousness' is constructed and used by the police and judges in decisions to detain migrants.