In this article, I argue the significance of the border between land and sea for the regulation of labor migration. I identify an early sense of this border in the East India Company's efforts to prohibit the trafficking of slaves overseas by foreign powers. I focus on a shift in the imaginary of the border with the advent of the indentured labor system. New permits, passes, and registration procedures were implemented to materialize the voluntariness of emigration for indentured laborers. Through an examination of Indian emigration legislation, I trace the continuous recalibration of the border through the differential inclusion of new occupational groups and labor migration streams under the umbrella of state regulation. I reevaluate the campaign for the abolition of indentured labor as a further recalibration of the border between land and sea that distinguished discrete rights of mobility for laboring subjects divided and multiplied by the category of skill.


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pp. 45-63
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