On May 17, 2010, four undocumented students and one ally walked into the Arizona office of Senator John McCain demanding that he co-sponsor the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have provided a pathway to citizenship for eligible undocumented youth. Wearing graduation caps and gowns and with a crowd of supporters gathered outside, these activists staged a sit-in (Galindo 2012). Three of the four undocumented activists were arrested marking the first act of civil disobedience in the undocumented youth movement. This protest followed the first Coming out of the Shadows event held in Chicago, Illinois in March, 2010 and preceded DREAM Act Summer, a period of intense mobilization to pass the DREAM Act. During the summer of 2010, undocumented activists held hunger strikes, staged sit-ins in Washington D.C., shutdown intersections in major cities, and held rallies where undocumented youth came out of the shadows as “Undocumented and Unafraid.”
Immigration law enforcement is the purview of the federal government. Thus, even though some states would like to welcome more immigrants and others would like to close their state borders, states do not have the authority to control the entry of foreigners into this country.
Nevertheless, states, counties, and cities do play a significant role in deportations because the vast majority of people deported from the United States are first arrested by a police officer and then handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
“God helped us to arrive here safely” said the exhausted Honduran mother of two in the refugee camp, El Barretal, on the outskirts of Tijuana. Many of the families who travelled with the recent Caravans identify as Christians. Yet, a recent survey showed that 57% of white evangelicals perceive immigrants as a threat to American society. Through the lens of scripture, these Central American Christians and U.S. Christians are members of the same Body of Christ – a Body that apparently has an auto-immune disease. Is that necessarily true? What is the actual and potential contribution of the Church to the struggle for immigrant justice and immigration reform?
The Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame is very pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior is Suzanne Staggenborg of the University of Pittsburgh. The award not only recognizes Suzanne’s extraordinary achievements in research, but also the role that she has played in mentoring successive generations of scholars. Continue reading
Event hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Movements, University of Notre Dame May 3, 2019.
In conjunction with the presentation of the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship in Social Movements, The Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame will be hosting the tenth annual “Young Scholars” Conference on May 3, 2019. The recipient of the McCarthy Award, Suzanne Staggenborg, will be in attendance and other senior scholars visiting Notre Dame for the award presentation will serve as discussants for the conference. Continue reading
“Applying social movement concepts to immigration activism”
Martinez, Lisa M. 2005. “Yes we can: Latino Participation in Unconventional Politics.” Social Forces 84(1): 135-155.
Mora, Maria De Jesus, Rodolfo Rodriguez, Alejandro Zermeño, and Paul Almeida. 2018. “Immigrant Rights and Social Movements.” Sociology Compass 12, no. 8
Zepeda-Millán, Chris. 2017. Latino Mass Mobilization: Immigration, Racialization, and Activism. Boston, MA: Cambridge University Press.
The place of immigrants in the U.S. has always been fraught, with immigrants simultaneously serving as inspiring affirmations of the American dream and as scapegoats for an endless list of social ills. But since Trump’s election in 2016, hostility toward immigrants has reached a level unseen in recent years. From families being separated at the border to the “Muslim ban” to proposals to eliminate the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship, immigrants are facing increased hostility in their everyday interactions and heightened threats due to anti-immigrant government policies. Along with these developments, immigrants and their allies are mobilizing and responding to threats in innovative ways. This dialogue brings together scholars and activists to ask what immigrant rights activism looks like in this moment, how it is changing, and what it can teach us about activism in times of increasing threats.
This month, we have a great assortment of essays. Thanks to our wonderful group of contributors on this topic:
- Cecilia Menjívar, UCLA, (essay)
- Matthew Ward, University of Southern Mississippi, (essay)
- Chris Zepeda-Millán, UCLA, (essay)
Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo