Center for Comparative Immigration Studies» Podcast http://ccis.ucsd.edu Center for Comparative Immigration Studies Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:29:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 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 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2013/06/vanesa-ribas/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2013/06/vanesa-ribas/#respond Mon, 03 Jun 2013 19:00:46 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=12086

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.

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Aarti Kohli – Operation Streamline: Assembly-Line Justice at the Border http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/05/aarti-kohli/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/05/aarti-kohli/#comments Tue, 18 May 2010 21:00:27 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3372 Aarti Kohli – Operation Streamline: Assembly-Line Justice at the Border

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Aarti Kohli on May 18, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


Aarti Kohli, director of immigration policy at the Warren Institute, will discuss a recent research project examining a Department of Homeland Security program that requires the federal criminal prosecution and imprisonment of all unlawful border crossers. The program, known as Operation Streamline, mainly targets migrant workers with no criminal history and has resulted in skyrocketing caseloads in many federal district courts along the border. From 2007 to 2008, federal prosecutions of immigration crimes nearly doubled, reaching more than 70,000 cases.

To understand how Operation Streamline is working, the Warren Institute conducted interviews with judges, U.S. attorneys, defense attorneys, Border Patrol representatives and immigration lawyers in four cities where versions of the program are in place in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Warren Institute’s report concludes that Operation Streamline raises significant legal and policy concerns. The program likely diverts crucial law enforcement resources away from fighting violent crime along the border, fails to demonstrate that it effectively reduces undocumented immigration, and violates the U.S. Constitution. This project also examines the Southern District of California as an alternative to Operation Streamline.

Aarti Kohli is Director of Immigration Policy at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at Berkeley School of Law. Her area of expertise is immigration law and policy. She leads the institute’s immigration initiative with the goal of connecting research with civic action and policy debate. Her work has focused on the following topics, among others: racial profiling in immigration enforcement, the intersection of criminal and immigration law; impact of deportations on U.S. citizen children, legal restrictions on immigrant access to healthcare; economic, social, and legal implications of state and local laws on immigrant integration.

She has served as a Consultant to the Office of Children’s Issues for the U.S. Department of State. Formerly, she was Judiciary Committee and Immigration and Claims Subcommittee counsel to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). Prior to working for Congress, she served as Assistant Legislative Director at UNITE union in Washington DC. In addition, she has also worked as a consultant to the National Immigration Law Center, the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and the National Immigration Forum. Aarti holds a J.D. from University of California Hastings College of the Law and a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Development Studies. She is a member of the California Bar.

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Clarissa Clo – Second Generations in Italy: Culture, Identity, and the Challenge of Citizenship http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/clarissa-clo/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/clarissa-clo/#comments Tue, 27 Apr 2010 21:00:07 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3374 Clarissa Clo – Second Generations in Italy: Culture, Identity, and the Challenge of Citizenship

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Clarissa Clo on April 27, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


Begins at 2:00 in the Eleanor Roosevelt Administration Building Conference Room

Recent cultural productions by second generations in Italy offer an alternative and multifaceted representation of contemporary society while illuminating the impact and flaws of the current immigration and citizenship legislation. This multifarious body of work illustrates the range of creative resources adopted by young authors born and/or raised in Italy by immigrant parents. While migrant groups in Italy may be politically disenfranchised, culture, and popular culture in particular, is a site where many second generation youth explore and imagine new ways of identity and relation. The analysis of Italian culture and society provided by these authors is particularly insightful because they access it from the vantage point of a “diasporic sensitivity,” one that is simultaneously local and transnational. In particular, second generations have much to contribute to an understanding of how policies work to limit, instead of improving, individual lives and collective interests. This is especially interesting in the case of Italy where, given the substantial emigrant history of the country, citizenship is based on jus sanguinis. “Blood” (thus race) remains a determining factor towards naturalization and the current legislation not only continues to uphold a “familist” approach to citizenship, but it also allows for an ethnocentric prejudice in its application which favors descent or EU membership over birth on national soil, discriminating against those from other regions of the world lacking Italian or European pedigree.

I argue that second generations in Italy have important insights to offer to the discussion over citizenship at large. Their cultural productions place them at the center, and not on the margin, of debates over Italian nationality, culture, and identity in the age of globalization. Second generations are perhaps the best suited to critique the legal system on immigration and citizenship in Italy, not just because, unlike Italian (white) citizens, they are forced to deal with it frequently, but also because they are quite knowledgeable of the workings of these laws and their material ramifications. They are “experts” who transfigure their legal “street” knowledge into literature, music and art while at the same time playing an important role as cultural activists. Their creative contribution shows the complex ways in which current immigration and citizenship laws in Italy do not (want to) account for Black or hyphenated Italians, i.e. people of African, Asian, Latin American, and Eastern European origin. It is through reading and listening to these voices that it becomes possible to bridge the distance between the text of the law and its abstractions and the material – racialized and gendered – effects on those who are subjected to it.

Clarissa Clò is Assistant Professor of Italian and European Studies and Director of the Italian Program at San Diego State University where she specializes in Italian Cultural Studies. She received a Ph.D. in Literature from UCSD in 2003 and taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before coming to SDSU. Her research interests include feminist, migration, and postcolonial studies, film, music, and popular culture. She has published in Annali d’Italianistica, Diacritics, Diaspora, Forum Italicum, Italian Culture, Italica, Il lettore di provincia and Transformations. She has written on The Battle of Algiers, regional documentary filmmaking, music subcultures, circum-Atlantic performances, Italian American women writers, Mediterranean Studies, and contemporary and postcolonial literature in Italy.

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Panel 4. Immigration Law and Control http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/panel-4-immigration-law-and-control/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/panel-4-immigration-law-and-control/#respond Mon, 12 Apr 2010 22:22:56 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3460 Panel 4. Immigration Law and Control

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Panel 3. Immigration and the Welfare State http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/panel-3-immigration-and-the-welfare-state/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/panel-3-immigration-and-the-welfare-state/#respond Mon, 12 Apr 2010 22:21:15 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3459 Panel 3. Immigration and the Welfare State

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Panel 2. Assimilation and Transnationalism http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/panel-2-assimilation-and-transnationalism/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/panel-2-assimilation-and-transnationalism/#respond Mon, 12 Apr 2010 22:19:13 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3458 Panel 2. Assimilation and Transnationalism

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Min Zhou — Chinese Immigrant Transnational Organizations in the U.S. and Development in China http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/min-zhou/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/04/min-zhou/#respond Tue, 06 Apr 2010 21:00:58 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3360 Min Zhou — Chinese Immigrant Transnational Organizations in the U.S. and Development in China

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Min Zhou on April 6th, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


This ongoing research project examines immigrant transnationalism via a close look at transnational organizations created by Chinese immigrants in the United States. It addresses the following questions: What are the scope, size, and nature of Chinese immigrant transnational organizations in the United States? Who is likely to actively participate in routine activities across national borders and why? How do these organizations interact with mainstream institutions in their hostland and homeland? What are the implications for immigrant incorporation to the United States and development in China? The study surveys a sample of 55 transnational organizations created by Chinese immigrants (out of an inventory of 1,370 ethnic Chinese organizations) in the United States and their effects on national and regional developments in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The study also draws on field observations and in-depth interviews of organizational leaders in the U.S. and China, including interviews with Chinese officials in charge of overseas Chinese affairs at various levels of government. Preliminary results indicate that Chinese immigrant organizations in the United States exist in a variety of fields: civic, music/arts, sports, social service, political, alumni, educational, economic, professional, and a range of organizations based on common family or clan ties and places of origin. Consistent with existing research on Latin American immigrant organizations, the study finds that transnationalism is likely to be practiced by married men with U.S. citizenship status and relatively stable employment or self-employment. While the familiar patterns of hometown-oriented involvement among transnational immigrants continue to be highly visible, new patterns of high-tech and capital-intensive developments in major metropolises and state-designated development zones have emerged among highly educated and highly assimilated immigrants. Although immigrant transnationalism is enthusiastically endorsed and supported by the Chinese government, immigrant transnational organizations tend to operate independently of the Chinese state with dual purposes of facilitating immigrant incorporation to U.S. society and homeland development in China.

Min Zhou, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology & Asian American Studies and the Walter and Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in U.S.-China Relations and Communications at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also the Chang Jiang Scholar Lecture Professor in Sun Yat-Sen University, China. Her main areas of research include international migration; ethnic and racial relations; ethnic entrepreneurship, education and the new second generation; Asia and Asian America; and urban sociology. She has published more than 130 refereed journal articles and book chapters, some of which have translated and published in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. She is the author of Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave, The Transformation of Chinese America, and Contemporary Chinese America: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Community Transformation; co-author of Growing up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States; co-editor of Contemporary Asian America and Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity. Zhou is currently working on two book projects: Chinatown, Koreatown, and Beyond: How Ethnicity Matters for Immigrant Education and Los Angeles’ New Second Generation: Mobility, Identity, and the Making of a New American Metropolis). For more information, visit: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/soc/faculty/zhou/

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Scott Borger – Self-Selection and Liquidity Constraints in Different Migration Cost Regimes http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/03/scott-borger-self-selection-and-liquidity-constraints-in-different-migration-cost-regimes/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/03/scott-borger-self-selection-and-liquidity-constraints-in-different-migration-cost-regimes/#respond Tue, 16 Mar 2010 22:00:02 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3018 Scott Borger – Self-Selection and Liquidity Constraints in Different Migration Cost Regimes

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Scott Borger on March 16th, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


As smuggling costs across the U.S.-Mexico border increased, a shift occurred in the types of migrants able to afford the costs. Potential unauthorized migrants face liquidity constraints meaning they cannot borrow in the formal sector against their future earnings to pay the cost for clandestine entry. In this paper I model the decision to migrate including this friction and the ability for U.S. social networks to alleviate these constraints. The model predicts (i) an increase in smuggling fees intensifies intermediate self-selection of migrants, (ii) an increase in US wages increases migration among higher skill types, and (iii) social networks enable lower skill types to migrate. The predictions of the model are tested by comparing migration behavior in low-cost and high-cost migration periods. I find evidence of a change in self-selection over time with an intensification of intermediate self-selection in the high-cost period relative to the low-cost period. Moreover, in the high-cost period, social networks increase the propensity to migrate of potential migrants with limited resources. In the model calibrated using U.S.-Mexico data, I find the smuggling fees are an important component of who migrates.

Scott Borger, Economist, Office of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Scott Borger is an Economist in the Office of Immigration Statistics in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from UC San Diego in 2009 and was a graduate student researcher at CCIS from 2006-2009.

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University of California International Migration Conference http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/03/university-of-california-international-migration-conference/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/03/university-of-california-international-migration-conference/#comments Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:00:16 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3093 Introduction and Panel 1. Ethnicity and the Politics of Immigration

Panel 2. Assimilation and Transnationalism

Panel 3. Immigration and the Welfare State

Panel 4. Immigration Law and Control


On March 12, 2010, CCIS will host a University of California-wide conference on international migration. Panels are listed below.

If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Ana Minvielle, aminvielle@ucsd.edu.

The conference will be held in the Deutz Conference Room of the Institute of the Americas. For directions, please visit the IOA website.

Sponsored by CCIS, The Gifford Center for Population Studies at UC Davis, the Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy at UC Irvine, and UCLA Migration Study Group

Introduction (8:30 – 8:45 AM)

  • David FitzGerald and John Skrentny, CCIS, UCSD

Panel 1. Ethnicity and the Politics of Immigration (8:45 – 10:30 AM)

  • Immigration and the Political Transformation of White America: How Local Immigrant Context Shapes White Policy Views and Partisanship. Marisa Abrajano, Political Science, UCSD
  • Beyond the Ballot: Immigration Collective Action in Traditional and New Destinations in the U.S. Dina Okamoto, Sociology, UC Davis
  • Immigration Reforms and Immigrant/Ethnic Community Politics: Immigrant Generation and Latino Policy Preferences on Immigration Reform. Louis DeSipio, Political Science, UC Irvine
  • “In A Race All Their Own”: The Quest to Make Mexicans Ineligible for U.S. Citizenship. Natalia Molina, Ethnic Studies, UCSD
  • Chair and Discussant: Zoltan Hajnal, Political Science, UCSD

Break (10:30 – 11:00 AM)

Panel 2. Assimilation and Transnationalism (11:00 AM-12:45 PM)

  • Inheriting the homeland?: Intergenerational transmission of cross-border ties in migrant families. Thomas Soehl, Sociology, UCLA
  • A Rhizomatic Diaspora: Transnational Passage and the Sense of Place among Koreans in Latin America. Kyeyoung Park, Anthropology, UCLA
  • Between “Europe” and “Africa”: Building the “New” Ukraine on the Shoulders of Migrant Women. Cinzia Solari, Sociology, UC Berkeley
  • Chair and Discussant: Erin Hamilton, Sociology, UC Davis

Panel 3. Immigration and the Welfare State (1:45-3:30 PM)

  • Children of Immigrants in U.S. Schools: Today’s English Learners, Tomorrow’s Workforce. April Linton, Sociology, UC San Diego
  • Immigration and the Welfare State: Diversity, Public Assistance and Immigrant Incorporation. Frank Bean, Sociology, UC Irvine
  • A New Nativism or an American Tradition? Federal Citizenship and Legal Status Restrictions for Medicaid and Welfare. Cybelle Fox, Sociology, UC Berkeley
  • Chair and Discussant: Micah Gell-Redman, Political Science, UCSD

Break (3:30-4:00 PM)

Panel 4. Immigration Law and Control (4:00-5:45 PM)

  • Race and Immigration Law in the Americas, 1850-2000. David FitzGerald, Sociology, UCSD
  • A Global Documentary Regime? Regulating Mobility from the Developing World. Kamal Sadiq, Political Science, UC Irvine
  • A Diversion of Attention?: Immigration Courts and the Adjudication of Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights. Jennifer M. Chacón, Law, UC Irvine
  • Chair and Discussant: David Kyle, Sociology, UC Davis

Note: This event is not sponsored by the Institute of the Americas

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Michael Clemens — How U.S. visas affect skilled labor: A randomized natural experiment http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/03/michael-clemens-how-u-s-visas-affect-skilled-labor-a-randomized-natural-experiment/ http://ccis.ucsd.edu/2010/03/michael-clemens-how-u-s-visas-affect-skilled-labor-a-randomized-natural-experiment/#respond Tue, 09 Mar 2010 22:00:54 +0000 http://ccis.ucsd.edu/?p=3211 Michael Clemens — How U.S. visas affect skilled labor: A randomized natural experiment

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Michael Clemens on March 9th, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


What are the effects of migration visas to rich countries on workers in poor countries? Though enormous international gaps in wages suggest that these effects could be large, the rarity of exogenous visa provision makes the true effects of visas difficult to measure. This study exploits a natural experiment wherein temporary US work visas were randomly allocated among a population of Indian high-tech workers in 2007 and 2008. It uses the experiment to test a set of predictions arising from economic theories of international migration: predictions relating to the effects of migration policy on migrants’ location choice, workers’ earnings, and foreign employers’ productivity. First, it finds that—contradicting a core assumption of the most common location choice models—choices depend heavily on the set of location options available. Policy limits on high-skill Indian labor to the US cause about 30% of those workers to go to other countries competing with the US for talented labor, including Western Europe, China, Singapore, and Japan, in a proportion far exceeding the relative sorting of migrants between India and those alternative destinations in the presence of the US option. Second, it provides an experimental estimate of the degree of selection on unobservable determinants of earnings for one group of temporary high-skill migration to the United States. Third, it offers evidence on the static and dynamic effects of spatial agglomeration economies on worker productivity.

Michael Clemens leads the Migration and Development Initiative at the Center for Global Development (CGD), where he studies the effects of international migration on people from and in developing countries. Michael joined the Center after completing his PhD in Economics at Harvard, where his fields were Development and Public Finance, and he wrote his dissertation in Economic History. In addition to his research at CGD he serves as an Affiliated Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

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