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Alicia Schmidt Camacho: “When Human Beings Become Illegal”

April 28, 2011 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


Drawing on migrant testimony, this talk will discuss the implications of government refusals to recognize and protect the mobility of poor people in their pursuit of economic survival. Migrants routinely experience grave abuses and assault in the course of their travels through the North American migratory circuit at the hands of both state and criminal actors. This violence, Schmidt Camacho argues, arises from transformations in the nature of sovereign power arising from economic restructuring and democratic state failure in the region. The increased use of force in immigration law enforcement is symptomatic of a pronounced rise in state violence during the last decade, roundly legitimated by governments as defending the rule of law.

Alicia Schmidt Camacho is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University.  She is the author of Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (NYU, 2008). She is currently at work on a book about state security and social violence along the North American migratory circuit.

Staff support provided by the Institute for Humanities Research.


April 28, 2011
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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