Thursday, October 9, 2014
Among the papers to be presented are two that directly relate to immigration:
Through discriminatory rhetoric state and local officials construct delinquent juvenile immigrant youth as the embodiment of a threat to public safety and American values. Thus, alleged delinquent undocumented immigrant children who have spent the majority of their lives in the United States are subjected to discrimination and exclusionary practices, which enable lessened protections under the law. This article uses two case studies of immigrant youth interfacing with the juvenile justice system to explore how the treatment of undocumented children within the system undermines legal guarantees of equality and due process, which reinforce existing hierarchies and exclusion of undocumented immigrant juveniles.
Detaining and deporting immigrants for their criminal activity has become a rallying cry in the past decade. It seems both sides of the political spectrum at federal state and local levels agree that noncitizens who commit crimes should be detained and deported. The rise in this rhetoric coincides with the criminalization of behavior typical only in immigrant communities. Recently, states have enacted or amended identity theft statutes to criminalize the false use of social security numbers or other identifying information for employment. These laws have been enacted in the midst of growing public concern that immigrants are “taking our jobs,” increasing frustration with the federal government’s failure to effectively control the border, and a growing sense of moral superiority over those who have the “wrong documents.” This paper discusses identity theft laws in the context of the immigrant workplace and their effects on efforts to detain and remove already vulnerable immigrant populations.