- Connecting civil rights, policy, and health, scholarly work on how immigrants’ health declines the longer they live in the United States suggests a policy need to address immigrant discrimination.
- Countering challenges to the President’s recent immigration action announcement, legal scholars have asserted the President’s legal authority to extend deportation deferrals to parents of young immigrants.
- In California, State Senator Ricardo Lara proposed a bill that would extend health insurance benefits to unauthorized immigrants who are not authorized to receive benefits through the Affordable Care Act.
- As a result of the President’s recently-announced immigration action, some pundits suggest more immigrants living in mixed immigration status families may be motivated to sign up for health care through the Affordable Care Act.
- LGBT organizations continue to criticize Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for treatment of transgender detainees, failing to protect them from sexual assault or providing them with medical assistance.
- Despite allegations of Mexican immigrants playing a role in the resurgence of measles, whooping cough, and other vaccine-preventable disease, there is no evidence to support such claims, especially since vaccination rates Mexico are high.
- In a trial against her employer, a migrant worker in Hong Kong shared stories of physical abuse, bringing attention to migrant domestic worker mistreatment.
- Near Italy, more than 300 African migrants may have died in the Mediterranean Sea before Italian Coast Guard officials reached a group of survivors.
- The Australian Human Rights Commission has called for immigrant children to be released from detention facilities.
- After a cemetery shooting in Copenhagen, the Israeli government approved funds to encourage immigration from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.
Call for Papers for Executive Session Submission:
Policing, Estrangement, and Social Inequalities: Denaturalizing Law Enforcement and Police-based Governance
2015 American Anthropological Association Meeting
November 18-22, Denver, Colorado
From Michael Brown to Eric Garner and beyond, recent public attention to African American deaths occurring at the hands of law enforcement officers in the United States has reignited familiar conversations about police relationships with minority communities. Meanwhile, just as President Obama’s year-end immigration announcement pledges to shift the landscape of immigrant policing across the country, we reach a record-high 2.5 million deportations on his watch. While anthropology has long played a critical role in exposing how regimes of social control are perpetuated through taken-for-granted, normalized systems of authority, events such as these suggest there may be a renewed public space for anthropological intervention that helps draw attention to policing and make sense of its effects. Following this year’s AAA theme calling for questioning the familiar and making it strange, we seek papers that denaturalize policing and law enforcement and question how policing supports social inequalities. We specifically seek papers that explore how policing, broadly conceived as law enforcement actions or policy created with specific governing ideals, reinforces power hierarchies based on race, sex, citizenship, or other forms of social difference. In considering how policing may perpetuate inequality, we also welcome ethnographic inquiry into how policing is resisted, contested, and/or mediated as tensions emerge. By making strange regimes of social control operating through policing, we invite papers to respond to the following or related questions:
- How does police activity promote, reinforce, and conceal existing forms of social difference, and in what ways can anthropologists respond?
- How can policing estrange individuals, families, communities, and broad populations, and what are the related consequences?
- What strategies do some communities develop to resist, combat, and cope with intense forms of policing?
- What methodological and theoretical challenges are associated with studying policing, and who or what may be obstructive in ethnographies of police, policy, and power processes?
- How does dialogue across subfields and disciplines aid or hinder our abilities to scrutinize police activity, and what findings can be gleaned through interdisciplinary collaboration?
From Alienation to Protection: Central American Child Migration – Heide Castañeda, Lauren Heidbrink, and Kristin Yarris
Heide Castañeda, Lauren Heidbrink, and Kristin Yarris
During the summer of 2014, the eyes of the United States – indeed, the world – turned their gaze on the thousands of Central Americans crossing borders to seek refuge and opportunity. This resulted in a range of responses – from solidarity and support to racism and exclusion – and a stalled search for solutions. As three U.S.-based scholars conducting research along these migration routes over the past several years, this summer we were pulled somewhat unexpectedly into public debates about Central American migrant children and U.S. immigration policy. Coming one year after failed efforts towards comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, the issue of unaccompanied minors has complicated popular understandings of the reasons, processes, and meanings of migration. Here, we reflect on the broader context and policy implications of our research. Read more…
- Responding to rampant gang violence in Honduras, the Obama administration is considering a proposal to screen minors there to see if they can enter the U.S. on refugee or emergency humanitarian grounds and thus bypass the dangerous migration through Mexico.
- Child migrants from Central America have shared harrowing stories of their journeys through Mexico and across the border, many involving abuse. Sonia Nazario describes the hometown contexts of this group she terms “children of the drug wars.” Commentators attribute the rise in child migration primarily to misinformation about the Obama administration’s Deferred Action program, although some politicians and concerned citizens are training the conversation on political-economic causes including the international weapons trade, crime, and poverty.
- Since October, more than 47,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly in Arizona and regions of South Texas that have not seen such high immigration in over a decade. (The New York Times Editorial Board provides one of the best overviews of the crisis to date, as well as some suggestions.)
- A recent UNHCR report address some of the reasons for the rise, including gang influences and rumors of immigration permits for youth. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson declared “a level-four condition of readiness” in the Rio Grande Valley and President Obama responded by forming a special task group under FEMA and an initiative to provide child immigrants with lawyers.
- Volunteers with groups such as the Phoenix Restoration Project have struggled to aid women and children “dumped” at bus stations without food, water, or means to contact family members, although there are reports of attempted remedies.
- A recent study finds that undocumented youth, known as the “Dreamers,” are becoming increasingly disenchanted with political parties in the US.
- Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan instructed public schools not to deny enrollment to children of undocumented immigrants, reminding districts that current practices may violate federal law.
- A recent New York Times editorial discusses inattention to complaints regarding Border Patrol agents’ abusive or threatening behavior.
- Lawmakers in California have proposed a bill to include health care coverage for undocumented immigrants, closing a gap created by the Affordable Care Act.