“The Immigration Officers Are Always Around!”: U.S. Immigration Enforcement and Ethnoracial Profiling in Immigrant Communities
Dr. Christina Getrich, Assistant Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park
Tuesday February 25, 2020
2pm - 3.30pm
Pyon Su Room, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park
The U.S. immigration enforcement regime—consisting of everyday acts of surveillance, targeted workplace and home raids, ever-increasing removals and deportations, and highly-controversial immigration detention practices—has commanded increasing public attention as its budget balloons and as its purview expands. Yet ethnoracial profiling has been a cornerstone of immigration enforcement since the founding of the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924, targeting generations of Mexicans of all immigration statuses living in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. This talk focuses specifically on how Mexican immigrant families in the borderlands navigate immigrant policing, drawing on my two decades of ethnographic research in the region. I demonstrate the deleterious effects of these enforcement practices on these families’ lives, but also the strategies members have cultivated to contest them and fight for inclusion for their families and communities. Immigration enforcement has also been progressively infiltrating the U.S. interior over the last two decades, making these enforcement practices of pressing local concern to all of us. Drawing from my latest line of research with multiethnic immigrant young adults in Maryland, I highlight how these newer enforcement actions shape their lives as they contend with increasing immigration-related insecurity in the Trump era.
Dr. Christina Getrich is Director of Graduate Studies and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. She is a sociocultural and critical medical anthropologist whose research examines the incorporation of mixed-immigration status families into U.S. society and immigration-related health disparities. Dr. Getrich has conducted research in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands for more than 20 years. Her book, Border Brokers: Children of Mexican Immigrants Navigating U.S. Society, Laws, and Politics (University of Arizona, 2019) is a longitudinal examination of the lives of the children of Mexican immigrants who grew up in mixed-status families living in the San Diego-Tijuana borderlands. She has also published 25 articles in a range of interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Getrich received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2014. Since 2016, she has been conducting research in local Maryland immigrant communities alongside Anthropology graduate and undergraduate students.
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Pyon Su Room, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland College Park