Oct 8-11: ASA Annual Meeting in Toronto

PANEL: “North of Misery: Migration, Affect, and Action” 
American Studies Association Annual Meeting
Oct. 8-11, 2015. Toronto, Canada

The large number of Central American refugees who crossed the Rio Grande in 2014 arrived with harrowing stories about current conditions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, as well as the dangerous journey through Mexico. Their arrival in the U.S. also generated a range of emotional responses and demands for action, from anti-immigrant protests to calls for humanitarian aid and economic development to the swift militarization of the border. Building from this moment, this panel will explore the relation between affect and action within the longer history of immigration in North America. How have those in the Global North imagined suffering in the Americas and their relation to it? What do their responses to migrants (and to migrant narratives) reveal about the political efficacy of emotion?

Proposals from all disciplines are welcome. Potential papers might consider: affect in the debate over immigration; representations of migrants in literature, visual art, performance and film; activism and theatricality; expressions of empathy, sentimentality, and/or moral outrage; structures of feeling in the “North”; the evolving symbolic role of the North/El Norte; the historic and contemporary role of Canada as refuge.

Please send abstracts (200-300 words) and brief CV by Jan. 5 to Stephen Park (stephen.park@utb.edu). Inquiries before that are welcome.


New Data on Unaccompanied Minors Shows Decreasing Trend

By Tom K. Wong, Ph.D. tomkwong@ucsd.edu, @twong002

New data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the number of unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S. shows a decreasing trend.

As of June 30, 2014, 56,547 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico were apprehended at the Southwest border. This represents a monthly average of 6,283 for FY 2014. In July, 5,034 children were apprehended at the border. This represents a decrease of -19.9% in the average monthly intake.

Focusing only on the three Central American countries—El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—that account for the bulk of the recent increase in unaccompanied minors also shows a decrease. As of June 30, 2014, 43,933 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala were apprehended at the Southwest border. This represents a monthly average of 4,881 for FY 2014. In July, 3,973 children from these three countries were apprehended at the border. This represents a decrease of -18.6%.

Looking more closely at the data, we see that the monthly inflow of unaccompanied minors from El Salvador (-12.7%), Guatemala (-43.6%), and Mexico (-24.3%) have decreased, while the monthly inflow of unaccompanied minors from Honduras has increased (+5.2%).

While these data are encouraging, the general decrease in the number of unaccompanied children coming to the Southwest border does not necessarily mean that there will not be another spike. Specifically, annual apprehensions data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows a general overall decrease in apprehensions at the Southwest border during the summer months.

Immigration Law and Border Enforcement Program

Monday-Saturday, May 26-31, 2014

Co-sponsored by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
Approved by the American Bar Association

The application deadline is Friday, April 4, 2014.

The fourth annual Immigration Law and Border Enforcement Program will be taught on campus at UC San Diego.

A first-of-its-kind opportunity, the program gives students of varying understanding levels the chance to see immigration law and border enforcement at work.

It includes lectures, practical training, court visits and a special border security training and tour with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Course Description

Immigration Enforcement at the Border (3 credits)
Taught by Professor Rose Cuison Villazor

This course analyzes the ways in which federal immigration officers enforce immigration laws at the border and the various legal, political, human and moral issues that they raise.

The course examines, among other areas, the relevant provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act; The Secure Fence Act of 2006; federal programs and policies, such as the Secure Border Initiative, Operation Streamline and Operation Stonegarden; Fourth Amendment search and seizure cases; and cases and controversies regarding the increasing movement of the borders inward.

Through the study of these laws and relevant cases, the course considers how enforcement of immigration law at the border has led to significant tensions between immigration officers’ authority to guard the border on sovereignty and security grounds and the rights of individuals to, among other things, privacy and equal protection under the law.

About San Diego

San Diego is on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles and adjacent to the border with Mexico. One of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, it is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. and second-largest in California.

San Diego is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches and long association with the U.S. Navy.

The 37th Meeting of the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium (PRIEC)

University of California, San Diego
Friday, May 23, 2014—12:00 pm-7:30 pm
ROOM: The Village at Torrey Pines, 15th Floor

Co-sponsored by: The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS),
Department of Political Science, and the Department of Sociology



12:20-2:45 pm PANEL 1

1. David FitzGerald, Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policies in the Americas

2. Tom Wong, Mike Nicholson and Nazita Lajevardi, “Immigrants, Citizens, and (Un)Equal Representation”

3. John Griffin, Zoltan Hajnal, Brian Newman, and David Searle, “Understanding Bias in Responsiveness in American Politics”

4. Ben Newman, “Diversity of a Different Kind: Gentrification and Its Impact on Social Capital and Political Participation in Black Communities”

5. Mackenzie Israel-Trummer “Facing a Black Woman: the Irrational Response to Underperforming White Male Incumbents”

6. Jennifer Merolla, Karthick Ramarkishnan and Chris Haynes, “Framing Immigration Reform and Amnesty in News Media and Public Opinion”

3:00-3:15 pm Coffee Break

3:15-5:15 pm PANEL 2

7. Melissa Michelson, Nazita Lajevardi and Marianne Marar Yacobian, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being Middle Eastern: Causes and Effects of the Racialization of Middle Eastern Americans”

8. Francisco Pedraza, “Political exclusion and the “chilling effect” of immigration enforcement on participation in Medicaid”

9. David Ayon, “Reversal of Fortune: Understanding the Contrasting Paths & Effects of Latino Empowerment in California and Texas”

10. Lucila Figueroa, “Support for Latino Politicians and U.S. Norms”

5:30-7:30 pm Reception at Home Plate Sports Café, UCSD

April 10 – Foreign Detachment: The Making and Unmaking of Cross-Border Ties – Research Seminar

Thursday, April 10th, 12:30pm
Social Science Building, Room 101

This event is jointly sponsored by the UCSD Sociology Department and CCIS.

Roger Waldinger is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UCLA. He has worked on international migration throughout his career, writing on a broad set of topics, including immigrant entrepreneurship, labor markets, assimilation, the second generation, high-skilled immigration, immigration policy, and public opinion. The author of six books, most recently, How the Other Half Works: Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor (University of California Press, 2003), he is a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow; his research has been supported by grants from the Ford, Haines, Mellon, National Science, Sloan and Russell Sage Foundations.

Mapping DACA Renewals

By Tom K. Wong, Ph.D., tomkwong@ucsd.edu, @twong002

PDF of report here

DACA: 2 Years Later 

According to the latest figures released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), over half a million (521,815) undocumented youth have received temporary relief from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The first DACA applications were submitted on August 15, 2012 and USCIS started approving applications a month later.

DACA is a temporary two-year status, which means that 2014 is the first year that “DACAmented” youth will have to renew their status. USCIS, immigrant-serving organizations, and other stakeholders across the country are already deep in planning and preparing for the renewal process. Will the renewal process mirror the initial success of DACA? To what extent will the costs associated with renewing deter individuals from reapplying? Should we even expect all “DACAmented” youth to reapply These are just some of the questions that loom over the renewal process.

In an effort to inform outreach efforts, this report uses data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to identify and map where the first wave of DACA renewals are likely to be concentrated.

The Data

The FOIA data analyzed here are the first 146,313 applications submitted to USCIS from August 15, 2012 to September 30, 2012. While it has been 18 months since USCIS began accepting applications, nearly one-quarter of all DACA applications submitted to date were submitted during this time period. Moreover, state-level trends in DACA applications during the first months of the program, with some exceptions, largely mirror current trends.

The data can thus speak to the first wave of DACA renewals and are also informative when it comes to evaluating DACA on the whole. Identifying where DACA renewals are likely to be concentrated is no easy task, as DACA applicants are spread widely across the country. For example, 10,678 zip codes and 1,922 counties are represented in the first 146,313 applications alone. However, there are only 148 counties that are home to between 100 and 449 applicants among the first 146,313 applicants, 33 counties that are home to between 500 and 999 applicants, and 21 counties that are home to more than 1,000. Indeed, the finer-grained the data are, the more leverage we have in identifying DACA renewal “hotspots.”

I note here that complementing this analysis with analysis of where large numbers of estimated DACA-eligible youth have yet to apply at the county- or city-level would add much needed depth to our understanding of the program. However, data limitations currently do not permit this. I refer readers to Wong et al. (2013), which identifies the under-representation of DACA-eligible youth at the state level.


This report identifies and maps DACA renewal “hotspots” across the country. This includes:

1. A map of DACA applications by county for all counties in the U.S. (see Figure 1).

2. County-level maps for California, Texas, New York, Florida, and New Jersey, which represent the top 5 states of residence for DACA applicants during the initial months of the program (Illinois has since supplanted New Jersey in the top 5; see Figures 2 to 6).

3. Zip-code level maps for the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the New York metropolitan area, the greater Houston area, the greater Chicago area, and the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area. These places represent the top 5 metropolitan areas of residence for DACA applicants during the initial months of the program (see Figures 7 to 11).



Figure 1: Number of DACA Applicants by County for All Counties, 8/15/12 – 9/30/12

Contact author for tabulations



Figure 2: DACA Applications by County, California (37,797 applications), 8/15/12 – 9/30/12

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 3: DACA Applications by County, Texas (22,330 applications), 8/15/12 – 9/30/12

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 4: DACA Applications by County, New York (11,570 applications), 8/15/12 -9/30/12

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 5: DACA Applications by County, Florida (9,049 applications), 8/15/12 – 9/30/12

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 6: DACA Applications by County, New Jersey (6,484 applications), 8/15/12 – 9/30/12


Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 7: DACA Applications by Zip Code, Greater Los Angeles Area

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 8: DACA Applications by Zip Code, New York Metro Area

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 9: DACA Applications by Zip Code, Greater Houston Area

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 10: DACA Applications by Zip Code, Greater Chicago Area

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown



Figure 11: DACA Applications by Zip Code, Riverside-San Bernardino MSA

Contact author for county-by-county and zip code breakdown




Mar. 5: Understanding Return Migration to Mexico

Understanding Return Migration to Mexico:
Towards a Comprehensive Policy for the Reintegration of Returning Migrants

with Dr. Miryam Hazan
Washington Director of Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT) 
Fellow with the Tower Center for Political Studies at the Southern Methodist University.

March 5, 2014 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm

at UCSD, Institute of the Americas, Deutz Room
*Free to Public; Registration Required & Lunch Provided (First Come, First Served).
Please Follow Link to Register

Dr. Miryam Hazan is the author of numerous blogs, journal articles and book chapters on Latino politics, immigration and U.S.-Mexico issues, and is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Mexican Immigrant Politics in America” (Cambridge University Press).

An expert on U.S., Mexican and Central American migration policies, and Spanish immigration policies, Dr. Hazan has held research and scholarly positions at Demos, Ideas in Action, the Migration Policy Institute, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Texas, Austin.

Dr. Hazan has media experience across the Americas, including working for six years at El Financiero in Mexico City.

Co-sponsored by

Interreligious Reflections on Immigration Seminar: Nov. 22-25, 2014

 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 22-25, 2014

Statement of Purpose: 

The overall purpose of this seminar is to promote interreligious and interdisciplinary dialogue and reflection on immigration, broadly conceived. Globalization and the ever-increasing movement of individuals and groups across multiple types of borders are fertile ground for theological and religious exploration. The issue of immigration and religion is especially timely. This seminar continues the work of scholars of diverse religious, cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender identities whose collaborations resulted in the publication of Strangers in this World: Multi-Religious Reflections on Immigration (Fortress Press, early 2015). This new seminar will work towards publication of a follow-up volume and coordinate with other related AAR program units to help address the growing interest and need for more religious reflections on immigration.

Call for Papers: 

The Interreligious Reflections on Immigration Seminar invites proposals for papers that address religion and immigration, broadly conceived. This is the first year of the Seminar whose goal is to produce a follow-up volume to Strangers in this World: Multi-Religious Reflections (Fortress Press, 2015). Scholars interested in contributing to the new volume of essays are encouraged to submit a proposal/abstract that addresses immigration and religion from any scholarly perspective—for example, philosophical, economic, political, theological, historical, and sociological. Selected proposals will be invited for further discussion at the seminar session at the San Diego AAR, 2014 meeting.


Chairs: Alexander Y. Hwang, hwangalex@yahoo.com; Laura Alexander, lek2fb@virginia.edu

Steering Committee: Joseph Mas, Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Kristine Suna-Koro, Laura Tilghman

Papers may be submitted through the American Academy of Religion’s PAPERS website; please see http://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting/call-for-papers.