The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration

Seminar to be held on Wednesday, October 23rd at 12:00 pm in ERC 115.

Many low-income countries and development organizations are calling for greater liberalization of labor immigration policies in high-income countries. At the same time, human rights organizations and migrant rights advocates demand more equal rights for migrant workers. Martin Ruhs’ The Price of Rights shows why you cannot always have both.

Martin Ruhs analyzes how high-income countries restrict the rights of migrant workers as part of their labor immigration policies and discusses the implications for global debates about regulating labor migration and protecting migrants. His book comprehensively looks at the tensions between human rights and citizenship rights, the agency and interests of migrants and states, and the determinants and ethics of labor immigration policy.

RuhsMartin Ruhs

Assistant Professor in Political Economy
Oxford University

Member, UK Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)

Undocumented No More: A Nationwide Analysis of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Seminar to be held on Wednesday, October 2nd at 12:00 pm

On June 15, 2012, the White House introduced the program of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA represents a major shift in the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement priorities, as it provides an estimated 1.76 million undocumented youth with relief from deportation and two-year renewable work permits. In the first of its kind, this study analyzes over 450,000 individual DACA applications submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

We obtained individual-level records via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Using these data, we provide a comprehensive account of DACA applicants with an eye towards whether any particular racial/ethnic or national origins group is systematically under-represented in the pool of DACA applications. We then present a preliminary analysis of the determinants of DACA applications. What explains the patterns of DACA applications that we observe by race/ethnicity, national origins group, and region?

wongTom K. Wong 
Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of California, San Diego

 

 

Angela García
Ph.D. Candidate
University of California, San Diego

Elizabeth Aguilera
Senior Reporter for Immigration
U-T San Diego

Carolina Valdivia
Staff Research Associate
University of California, San Diego

PhD Partnership in Global Social Protection Transnational Studies Initiative – Harvard University

Starting in January 2014, TSI will host one or two PhD or post-doctoral students working on related topics who would like to partner with us on this intellectual journey. These individuals will work with Professors Levitt and Viterna on developing these ideas, participate in all TSI activities, and be welcome to take part in all open University seminars and public conferences. Please download the announcement for details.

Vanesa Ribas – The Meanings of “Moyo”: Shop Floor Racial Talk as Symbolic Boundary-Making among Latina/o Migrant and African American Workers in the American South

 

Seminar to be held on Monday, June 3rd in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.

This presentation draws on ethnographic research primarily conducted while I was employed as a regular production worker in a North Carolina meatpacking plant for sixteen months between 2009 and 2010. As part of a larger project that attempts to explain the character of social relations between Latina/o migrants and their chief counterparts in the workplace – African Americans – I trace the categories and meanings of shop floor racial talk with parallel attention to the diverse ethnoracial panoramas in Latina/o migrants’ origin countries. How are the terms moyo, negro, and moreno used at work? What does this suggest about how Latinos view African Americans as a group? And how does this language relate to pre-migration ideas about blacks and blackness? I find that the use of ethnoracial forms of identification is much more prevalent among Latina/os towards African Americans than the converse, and I examine the features of one particularly salient designation of African Americans as moyos, a term whose valence is indefinite and situational, but frequently acquires pejorative significance. I trace the transnational origins of this identification, finding that its adaptation and propagation occurs within the transnational spaces that Latina/o migrants occupy. Ultimately, I argue that Latinos’ deployment of bold symbolic boundaries expresses racialized resentment, reflecting and reinforcing their perception that they are the most oppressively exploited workers and that African Americans occupy a privileged position in the workplace.

ribas_ucsdVanesa Ribas received her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Her research has appeared in the American Sociological Review (with Neal Caren and Raj Ghoshal), Social Science and Medicine (with Janette Dill and Philip Cohen), Teaching Sociology (with Raj Ghoshal et al.), and is forthcoming in Sociological Perspectives. She is working on a book based on her study of Latina/o migration to the American South, labor exploitation, and race relations in a large meatpacking plant.

James F. Hollifield – Immigration and the ‘Republican’ Model in France

 

Seminar to be held on Wednesday, May 22nd in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.

To what extent is the French republican model still viable in debates over immigration and integration in France today?  Viewed from the perspective of the last thirty years, which saw the rise of a powerful anti-immigrant political movement, the Front National, one might conclude that immigration in postwar France has been raging out of control.  Yet despite the remarkable showing of the Front National in recent presidential elections, France has remained a relatively open immigration country, a tradition which dates from the middle of the nineteenth century.  Annual levels of immigration have not fallen much below 100,000 since the early 1950s, the right to asylum has been respected by every postwar government, and France has maintained what is arguably the most liberal naturalization policy in Western Europe.  How can we explain this continuity in the midst of crisis?  I argue that the continuity in the principles and outcomes of French immigration policy is closely linked to the power of the republican model and to the limits of control that are a function of rights-based politics.

21917D_068_HollifieldJames F. Hollifield is Ora Nixon Arnold Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He received his PhD in political science from Duke University in 1985. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has worked as a consultant for a variety of governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and has published widely on international political and economic issues, including Immigrants, Markets, and States (Harvard UP, 1992), L’immigration et l’Etat Nation (L’Harmattan, 1997), Controlling Immigration (Stanford UP, 2nd Edition, 2004), Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (Routledge, 2nd Edition, 2008), and International Political Economy: History, Theory and Policy (Cambridge UP, forthcoming) along with numerous other books and scientific articles. Hollifield has been the recipient of grants from private corporations and foundations as well as government agencies, including the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Social Science Research Council, the Sloan Foundation, the Raytheon Company, and the National Science Foundation. His current research looks at the rapidly evolving relationship between trade, migration, and development with a special focus on human capital and how states use migration for strategic gains. He sits on several boards and is currently Chairman of the Owens Foundation and the Dallas County Historical Foundation, the governing body of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

Tom K. Wong – Will Comprehensive Immigration Reform Pass? Predicting Legislative Support and Opposition to CIR

 

Seminar to be held on Monday, April 29th in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.

Will comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) pass in 2013? The momentum that has been building towards CIR, which accelerated with last November’s presidential election and has since grown even more with the recent introduction of the Senate ‘gang of 8′s” bill, has shown no signs of slowing down. As a matter of politics, the key question is whether there are enough votes in Congress? While there are no crystal balls to tell us how legislators will ultimately vote, the recent history of immigration politics in the U.S. provides sufficient information to make informed predictions, not only about how current members of Congress are likely to vote on the final passage of CIR, but also about how they are likely to vote on the various amendments that will be introduced. By modeling voting behavior on all recent immigration – related legislation – which provides some 6,000 observations in the Senate and over 10,000 observations in the House – I provide estimates for all 535 current members of Congress of the number of yes and no votes on the final passage of CIR, as well as estimates for a number of key amendments that, if passed, could fundamentally alter the bill.

wongTom K. Wong is assistant professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Wong’s research focuses on the politics of immigration, citizenship, and migrant illegality. As these issues have far-reaching implications, his work also explores the links between immigration, race and ethnicity, and the politics of identity. He is completing a book manuscript, which analyzes the determinants of immigration control policy across twenty-five Western immigrant-receiving democracies. He is also working on a project that creates a typology of the mobility regimes of immigrant-sending countries in order to explain patterns of contemporary international migration, as well as a project on the politics of migrant illegality. His work has been published as a book chapter with Stanford University Press and in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Tomás Jiménez – When White is Just Alright: How Immigrants Redefine Achievement and Reconfigure the Ethnoracial Hierarchy

 

Seminar to be held on Wednesday, April 17th in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.

Research on immigration, educational achievement, and ethnoraciality has followed the lead of racialization and assimilation theories by focusing empirical attention on the immigrant-origin population (immigrants and their children) and effectively ignoring the third-plus generation (those who are US-born of US-born parents).  We depart from this orthodox approach by placing third-plus-generation individuals at center stage to examine how they adjust to norms that the immigrant-origin population defines.  We draw on fieldwork in Cupertino, California, a high-skilled immigrant gateway, where an Asian immigrant-origin population has established and enforces an amplified version of high-achievement norms.  The resulting ethnoracial encoding of academic achievement constructs whiteness as having “lesser-than” status.  Whiteness has come to represent low-achievement, laziness, and academic mediocrity; Asianness, by comparison, stands for high-achievement, hard work, and success.  We argue that immigrants can serve as a foil against which the meaning and status of an ethnoracial category become recast, upending how the category is normally deployed in daily life.  Our findings call into question the largely taken-for-granted analytical position that treats the third-plus generation, and especially whites, as the benchmark population that sets achievement norms and to which all other populations must adjust.

Tomas JimenezTomás Jiménez is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stanford University. His research and writing focus on immigration, assimilation, social mobility, and ethnic and racial identity. His book, Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity (University of California Press, 2010) was recently awarded the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Latinos/as Section 2011 Distinguished Book Award. He is currently working on three projects. The first examines how host-society individuals (US-born of US-born parents) participate in the assimilation process by drawing on in-depth interviews with host-society individuals and observations in three distinct sub-regions in the Silicon Valley: East Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Berryessa. A second project (with Stanford PhD Candidate, Lorena Castro) looks at how immigration becomes part of American national identity. A third project (with social psychologist John Dovidio (Yale), political scientist Deborah Schildkraut (Tufts), and social psychologist Yuen Ho (UCLA), examines how contextual factors shape the sense of belonging and related intergroup attitudes, behaviors, and support for immigration policies among immigrants and host-society members in the United States.  Professor Jiménez has taught at the University of California, San Diego. He has also been an Irvine Fellow at the New America Foundation. Before that, he was the American Sociological Association Congressional Fellow in the office of Rep. Michael Honda (CA-15). His writing on policy has appeared in reports for the Immigration Policy Center, and he has written opinion-editorials on the topic of immigrant assimilation in several major news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, CNN.com, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He holds a B.S. in sociology from Santa Clara University and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Harvard University.

Rocio Rosales – Migrants of Dos Mundos: Sending Community, Exploitative Relations and Immigrant Outcomes

Thursday, March 7
12:30-2:00pm
Social Sciences Building 101

This paper is based on five years of ethnographic field research among a group of Latino fruit vendors in Los Angeles as well as interviews with their Mexico-based family members. It examines the influence of the sending community on migrant outcomes in the United States. For this population of migrants, I argue that the sending community and social networks structured around it can help to explain how migrants entered into and remained in the informal and high-risk work of fruit vending. In some instances, the exploitative nature of social networks structured around sending community negatively impacted outcomes in the U.S. and subsequently affected these migrants’ economic and social contact with home.

rosales-profilepicRocio Rosales is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California – San Diego.  She completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California-Los Angeles in 2012. She received her A.B. in Sociology (cum laude) with a certificate in Latin American Studies from Princeton University. Her research interests involve international migration, informal work, Latinos/as in the U.S. and urban ethnography. Her work will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and as a chapter in a forthcoming edited book published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

* Jointly sponsored with UCSD Department of Sociology

Gabriel J. Chin – Federalism at the Border: Immigration Policy and the States

Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00pm
Hojel Auditorium, Institute of the Americas
UC San Diego

Two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases seem to send opposite messages about the hundreds of recent state and local laws regulating noncitizens. One decision upheld Arizona’s law imposing sanctions on employers hiring undocumented workers, while the other struck down many parts of that state’s notorious SB1070, designed to drive out undocumented people using a policy of “attrition through enforcement.” Where is the line between valid state assistance to the federal government and unconstitutionally establishing independent state immigration policies? What could be wrong with the states helping enforce the federal government’s own statutes?

Gabriel J. Chin is Professor of Law at the University of California Davis School of Law. A former professor at the University of Arizona, he has written extensively about that state’s SB1070 law and other state immigration regulations.

For more information, contact Warren College at waprovost@ucsd.edu.

*Jointly sponsored with UC San Diego, Earl Warren College and California Western School of Law, San Diego