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Lecture 7

SOC 336 Week 8, Lecture 7.docx

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University of Toronto St. George

Week8: March 5: Immigration and the State (2): Immigration Status, Detention, Deportation, and Social Mobility Outline:  What does it mean to be “illegal”? How and why do states construct “illegality”? (De Genova 2002) o We should change it to undocumented, not illegal o  The everyday life of undocumented migrants 1. Access to education -- Impact on children & youth 2. Labour market implications/ social mobility (Goldring & Landolt 2012) What does it mean to be ‘illega’? (De Genova 2002)  “Illegal” immigration = immigration across national borders that in some way violates the immigration laws of the destination country  General definition  De Genova  illegality is a problem to be solved o Role of researchers  how they’re involved in perpetuating this understanding of undocumentation; it’s a policy issue, something that is really problematic and something policy makers need to express. o Ignores structural inequality o Documentation  traditionally in domain of policy studies, demography, criminology  Implications of studying undocumented migration as a question of demography, policy, or criminology o Illegality as a “problem” to be “solved” o Doesn’t look at their everyday life o Criminology  problematic; as people they are criminals (not just their activities); all 3 of these disciplines situate the whole process/activity/ un documented migration as a problem How and Why do States Construct ‘Illegality’? (De Genova 2002) “The legal production of ‘illegality’” (p. 429)  “Illegality” = Political identity bc it is defined by the state  The states constructs “illegality” through instruments (resources) such as, o Laws o Policies o Policing o Borders o Surveillance  Detention and Deportation (Anna Pratt, 2006) o Also instruments or tools the state has its disposal in defining people as illegal o Detention and deportation are the two most extreme bodily sanctions of immigration penalty which constitutes and enforces borders, police, non citizens identify those deemed not legal refuses them and casts hem out. As such, deportation and detention are key technologies that make up government and citizens.  Undocumented migrations “are not self-generating and random; they are produced and patterned” (p. 424) How then, should we study the processes of undocumented migrations? (De Genova 2002)  What’s needed is HISTORICAL line of inquiry, analysis of LEGAL PROCESS by which categories become what they are ( Foucault) o We need to pay attention to the legal process that define categories, not the groups itself o How certain authority figures and people with power define certain things o De Genova we should look back historically and see how these categories have come to be and what role the law played in that  Undocumented migrations = LABOUR MIGRATIONS o “Undocumented migrations would be inconceivable were it not for the value they produce through the diverse services they supply to citizens” (p. 422) o  WHAT ARE THESE “SERVICES”??? o Two particular services:  Domestic work  pay not so high, feminized form of work, not much respect or status  Labor that nobody else wants to do = (physical labor, unskilled labor)  In Canada we have temporary labor jobs (i.e. to pick fruit in orchards, etc.  Undocumented workers are paid less (because they’re not on paper, they can’t be found. No evidence  Examples of labour that has exploitation (ie. Un skilled o What it means to be citizens and noncitizens o There’s a normative component to this category of illegality and what it means to be citizens and legal: helps to define what isl legal, who believes, who don’t? o Illegal/undocumented= heavily racialized The Everyday Life of Undocumented Migrants (De Genova 2002) De Genova’s call to study the everyday life of undocumented migrants AND “documented” migrants and citizens -Illegal migrants  are not actually some organized group of people: it’s a heterogeneous group of people who ended up with that status in a number of different ways. Undocumented migrants live amongst.. US. To explore what it means on the micro level to live in a society surrounded by people who HAS citizenship, so how do they interact with one another? -- WHY is this so important??? (see p. 422) -- HOW do we—as researchers, as activists—study the “everyday life” of undoc’ed migration?  Because people don’t wear this status on their sleeves, etc.: 2 examples: 1. Educational context (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell campaign) 2. Labour context (Goldring & Landolt study) Ex 1. The Educational Context: Undocumented migrant youth:  Nobody is Illegal (NOII): Grassroots org that fights for rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers  Video screening: Education not Deportation (20:46) o Initiative to ensure the right of education for non-status immigrants in Toronto o Produced in 2010 by NOII, Toronto Chapter The Educational Context: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Discussion Questions:  What strategies do NOII activists use to promote their cause? Do they seem effective? Are there other strategies that you think might be effective in the protection of undocumented youth and their right to education? o Rallies, marches, student protests, going to school board, involving the press (media)  more coverage and to promote their cause o Go back to the UN convention (the right to child) o Good strategy they went to the community members (importance of alliance) o Yes, in that they’re getting the message
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