Fall 2021 Immigration Seminar Series

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Fall 2021 Immigration Seminar Series

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Co-sponsored by PhD Program in Sociology & MA Program in International Migration Studies

Fridays, 3:00-4:30 P.M. EST on Zoom

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September 17:

Precarious Times, Professional Tensions: The Ethics of Migration Research and the Drive for Scientific Accountability

Irene Bloemraad, UC Berkeley

How should migration scholars navigate tensions between our ethical responsibilities to research participants and growing “open science” calls for data transparency, replication, and accountability? We elaborate a three-step process to navigate these tensions. First, researchers must understand core principles behind open-science initiatives and the mandates of research ethics boards, especially those related to privacy, confidentiality, and protection from harm, and take them seriously.

Second, migration researchers must think beyond routinized or mandated procedures to carefully consider the unique vulnerabilities of migrants in their study, which depend on socio-political context. Third, if vulnerabilities are significant, migration researchers should modify (or challenge) procedures elaborated in the name of open science or routinized research ethic board mandates, if inappropriate for their study. We, thus, encourage migration scholars to engage with open-science advocates but also to educate colleagues on migrants’ vulnerabilities and to double-down on data security, including vis-`a-vis government authorities, as evolving technologies continue to change research practices.

October 8:

Fruteros: Street Vending, Illegality, and Ethnic Community in Los Angeles

Rocio Rosales, UC Irvine

This work examines the social worlds of young Latino street vendors as they navigate the complexities of local and federal laws prohibiting both their presence and their work on street corners. Known as fruteros, they sell fruit salads out of pushcarts throughout Los Angeles and are part of the urban landscape. Drawing on six years of fieldwork, I offer a compelling portrait of their day-to-day struggles. In the process, I examine how their paisano (hometown compatriot) social networks both help and exploit them. Much of the work on newly arrived Latino immigrants focuses on the ways in which their social networks allow them to survive. I argue that this understanding of ethnic community simplifies the complicated ways in which social networks and social capital work. My research on fruteros sheds light on those complexities and offers the concept of the “ethnic cage” to explain both the promise and pain of community.

November 19:

Crossing: How We Label and React to People on the Move

Rebecca Hamlin, UMass Amherst

Today, the concept of "the refugee" as distinct from other migrants looms large. Immigration laws have developed to reinforce a dichotomy between those viewed as voluntary, often economically motivated, migrants who can be legitimately excluded by potential host states, and those viewed as forced, often politically motivated, refugees who should be let in. In Crossing, Rebecca Hamlin argues against advocacy positions that cling to this distinction. Everything we know about people who decide to move suggests that border crossing is far more complicated than any binary, or even a continuum, can encompass. Drawing on cases of various "border crises" across Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East, Hamlin outlines major inconsistencies and faulty assumptions on which the binary relies. The migrant/refugee binary is not just an innocuous shorthand—indeed, its power stems from the way in which it is painted as apolitical. In truth, the binary is a dangerous legal fiction, politically constructed with the ultimate goal of making harsh border control measures more ethically palatable to the public. This book is a challenge to all those invested in the rights and study of migrants to move toward more equitable advocacy for all border crossers.

December 10:

Immigrant Crossroads: Globalization, Incorporation, and Placemaking in Queens, NY

Panel Discussion

Sam Stein and Tarry Hum - The Politics of a 'New Deal' for Roosevelt Avenue: BIDs, Placemaking, and Community Resistance

Alice Sardell - Advocacy for Immigrant Health: Language Access in New York Pharmacies

Sayu Bhojwani - The New Machine: Nonprofits and South Asian Political Incorporation

Ariana Martinez - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): On Reaching Queens' Diverse and Eligible Immigrant Populations

Moderated by Tarry Hum

Co-sponsor: Asian American / Asian Research Institute

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