Angela Garcia - "Legal Passing" & Jennifer Jones - "The Browning of the New South" - Robert Vargas

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Angela Garcia & Jennifer Jones

Angela S. Garcia will discuss her book Legal Passing: Navigating Everyday Life and Immigration Law and Jennifer A. Jones will discuss her book The Browning of the New South. Garcia and Jones will be joined in conversation by Robert Vargas. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by Chicago Studies, a program within the college that develops experiential learning, research pathways, and engagement opportunities to help students think substantively about Chicago and beyond.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: Legal Passing offers a nuanced look at how the lives of undocumented Mexicans in the US are constantly shaped by federal, state, and local immigration laws. Angela S. García compares restrictive and accommodating immigration measures in various cities and states to show that place-based inclusion and exclusion unfold in seemingly contradictory ways. Instead of fleeing restrictive localities, undocumented Mexicans react by presenting themselves as “legal,” masking the stigma of illegality to avoid local police and federal immigration enforcement. Restrictive laws coerce assimilation, because as legal passing becomes habitual and embodied, immigrants distance themselves from their ethnic and cultural identities. In accommodating destinations, undocumented Mexicans experience a localized sense of stability and membership that is simultaneously undercut by the threat of federal immigration enforcement and complex street-level tensions with local police. Combining social theory on immigration and race as well as place and law, Legal Passing uncovers the everyday failures and long-term human consequences of contemporary immigration laws in the US.

About the author: Angela S. García is Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her research centers on the relationship between law, place, and inequality. More specifically, García analyses the interplay between subnational (state and local) immigration laws and federal immigration legislation as it affects immigrants’ everyday lives, incorporation, and well-being. Her book, Legal Passing: Navigating Undocumented Life and Local Immigration Law, published with University of California Press in 2019, compares the effects of restrictive and accommodating state and local-level immigration laws on the everyday lives of undocumented Mexican immigrants. Her current research includes a project that theorizes social time, the state, and well-being from the perspective of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for Deferred Action for the Parents of Americans (DAPA), a failed 2014 executive action of the Obama administration, and a collaborative study on the implementation, reach, and consequences of Chicago’s municipal ID program for marginalized communities. García received her PhD in Sociology and her master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of California, San Diego.

About the book: Studies of immigration to the United States have traditionally focused on a few key states and urban centers, but recent shifts in nonwhite settlement mean that these studies no longer paint the whole picture. Many Latino newcomers are flocking to places like the Southeast, where typically few such immigrants have settled, resulting in rapidly redrawn communities. In this historic moment, Jennifer Jones brings forth an ethnographic look at changing racial identities in one Southern city: Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This city turns out to be a natural experiment in race relations, having quickly shifted in the past few decades from a neatly black and white community to a triracial one. Jones tells the story of contemporary Winston-Salem through the eyes of its new Latino residents, revealing untold narratives of inclusion, exclusion, and interracial alliances. The Browning of the New South reveals how one community’s racial realignments mirror and anticipate the future of national politics.

About the author: Jennifer Jones is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a scholar, Dr. Jennifer Jones seeks to examine the social construction of race by exploring three distinct sources of change in the contemporary racial landscape -- immigration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. By focusing on these three themes, she works to expand our understanding of how people become racialized and make sense of that racial identity, as well as how those identities impact social relations and politics. Specializing in race and ethnicity, immigration, political sociology, Latinx studies, Afro-Latinx studies, and Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Jones’ recent work can be found in such journals as Contexts, International Migration Review, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Latino Studies. Prior to joining the faculty at UIC, Dr. Jones was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ohio State University in the Department of Sociology as a Social and Behavioral Sciences Diversity Fellow and received her Ph.D. and MA in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

About the interlocutor: Robert Vargas is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Sociology, and founding Director of the Violence, Law, and Politics Lab. His research examines how redistricting laws, bureaucracies, and public policies shape the conditions of cities, with a particular focus on violence and health care. His award winning book Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio shows the relationship between ward boundary redistricting and block-level violence in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637