Smoke Screens: Is There a Correlation between Migration Euphemisms and the Language of Detention?

Discursive strategies used to describe people moving across borders can have consequences on their well-being, including limiting their access to legal procedures. This Global Detention Project working paper points to an apparent paradox in these strategies: While language used to describe migrants and asylum-seekers is often euphemistic (or dysphemistic), tending to dehumanise them, language used to characterize their treatment in custody appears aimed at shielding detention from scrutiny. The paper suggests that in the field of immigration detention, the role and impact of misleading language on policy and perception appears to be quite significant and merits more attention from scholars and advocates.