Essay

Niina Vuolajarvi Brings Activism-Informed Research to the Zolberg Institute

Niina Vuolajarvi began her postdoctoral fellowship at NSSR in January 2021, bringing her long background of activism and academic research “at the intersection of sex work studies and migration studies” to the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. Before starting her PhD in Sociology at Rutgers University, Vuolajarvi organized around migrant rights, anti-racism, feminist movements and …

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The True Story of Two Guatemalan Asylum Seekers at Our Border: A saga of dispossession, past and present

Photo Credit: David Peinado Romero/Shutterstock I met Francisco Chávez and Gaspar Cobo through a colleague and advocate for migrants’ and refugees’ human rights who works in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The two of them had fled Guatemala in June 2019. Travelling with a larger group of Central Americans going north, it took them twenty days to …

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“I will tell you the story of belatedness”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVs-Bmh6WI “I will tell you the story of belatedness. We migrants, we refugees, we foreigners.We are always seen as delayed people.We arrive [at] the right time.And it is always too late.”Shahram Khosravi It is mid-June when we video chat with Dagmawi Yimer, an Ethiopian refugee and filmmaker living in Italy, for the first time. Dagmawi is …

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(Dis)solving the “Problem” of Immigration: Why migrants and citizens alike should strive for a reformed labor system

Photo Credit: Beatrice Puddu Italian food is venerated by Italians and tourists alike. Being Italian, I am frequently told by others how much they love our food. But how many of them are aware of the conditions in which day laborers are forced to work to ensure its cheap and steady production? Imagine your dream …

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We Need Racial and Legal Equality in the US Asylum System Too

Memorial coffins at the Tijuana-San Diego border for those who died crossing. Tomas Castelazo, tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 Saturday, June 20 is World Refugee Day, honored by the United Nations to raise awareness and educate the public about refugees, their basic rights, their situation around the world, and the responsibilities of states …

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Whose Home? Whose Rule?: Nandita Sharma’s Home Rule and the politics of autochthony

BJP supporters in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in 2019. Photo credit: Arun Sambhu Mishra / Shutterstock.com Nandita Sharma, Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants (Duke University Press: 2020) In February 2002, five months after Narendra Modi became chief minister of Gujarat, an anti-Muslim pogrom erupted in his state. In three months of violence, …

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Borders in the Time of COVID-19: What the pandemic reveals about the regulation of mobility

An arriving passenger places his hand on a device to take his fingerprints as Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations clear international travelers arriving at Dulles International Airport. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBP officers have begun wearing protective gear as they interact with passengers. Photo credit: Glenn Fawcett …

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The Great Immobility

We will learn many lessons from the coronavirus pandemic: the need for guaranteed universal health care and paid sick leave in the United States; the huge danger that comes from undermining federal experts and agencies; the ability to make very large financial commitments when crisis strikes. (Next up, climate change.) Less obvious is the lesson …

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