Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Immigration laws: constructing the immigrant

An interesting discussion is taking place on the ASA Globalog, a blog created by the Association of Social Anthropologists in the UK and the Commonwealth, regarding immigration. The post is written by an immigration lawyer, who discusses the ways in which the immigrant is constructed through the legal framework.

One idea was particularly interesting: our great-grandparents' stories about immigration used to commemorate the journey and the hardships, but they were nevertheless celebratory in their intentions and discourse. Today, the only stories we hear about the immigration journey pertain to a field delineated by the discourse of the law: illegal immigration, its perils and its failures. Immigration becomes imagined through the legal discourse of what is permissible and what is not. An interesting point to reflect upon!

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