Madeline Hsu, University of Texas at Austin
Luis Mancheno, Bronx Defenders
Rebecca Press, Central American Legal Assistance
The roundtable conversation will be moderated to focus on the latest developments in immigration policies and enforcement actions as of January 2018. This includes a discussion of where things stand relating to: the status of the Obama Administration’s DACA program and of “dreamers”; ICE-enforcement practices and the use of detention facilities and deportation measures against immigrants; policies relating to guestworker visas; changes to refugee and asylum policies; and, travel bans.
The open-ended roundtable format will also allow for a discussion of Trump-era immigration policies in broader terms. In line with the conference theme of “Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Perspective,” participants will be asked to comment on what the resurgence of xenophobic policies and posturing means in respect to our understanding of American nationalism and how it plays out in communities, classrooms, and other spaces. Immigration is an inherently global and transnational subject, and the roundtable will emphasize this point as well. Participants will be asked to discuss how deportations, the issuance of visas, and asylum policies represent matters of foreign relations between nations, and to comment on how immigration must be viewed through a more global lens that acknowledges immigrants as actors governed by multiple nation-states and immersed in multiple cultures, economies, and societies. The roundtable will include ample time for audience questions and participation.
This roundtable is being organized and co-moderated by Chantel Rodríguez (University of Maryland) and Andy Urban (Rutgers University). Rodríguez and Urban are co-editing a special issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History (JAEH) titled “Immigration Control and Resistance: Historicizing the Present Moment,” and scheduled for publication in the spring of 2019. Rodríguez and Urban will excerpt, edit, and update where necessary a transcript of the January 2018 roundtable, to include in the issue as a forum. They would gratefully acknowledge the AHA’s sponsorship in providing a place and platform where this conversation can occur. Having this roundtable, when immigration policies seemed poised to undergo substantial changes, creates for teachers and scholars an important and relevant snapshot of the issues and concerns at stake in the present moment.