Fighting Imagined Invasions with Administrative Violence.
Racism, Xenophobia and Nativism as a Cause of Statelessness in Myanmar, the Dominican Republic and Assam (India)
Discriminatory policies have the capacity to create statelessness on a massive scale and the majority of stateless persons around the world belong to impoverished minority communities. The intentionality of such discrimination is guided by xenophobia, racism and particularly nativism: the belief that an internal minority with foreign connections is a threat to the nation. Hence, target communities are re-imagined as an enemy invader. This article analyses and compares how such ideologies have resulted in statelessness in the cases of Myanmar, the Dominican Republic and the State of Assam in India. These three scenarios have internal minorities (Rohingya in Myanmar, ethnic Haitians in Dominican Republic and Bengalis in India) that have been represented, based on kinship lines with neighbouring states, as enemy intruders by public officials and institutions. The authors compare how in the three scenarios nativist policies, the erosion of jus soli in citizenship laws and administrative violence have been used to ‘fight’ these imagined invasions and identify common trends.