Angela Garcia - "Legal Passing" - Roberto Gonzales

Friday, October 25, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Angela Garcia

“Angela S. García shows in breathtaking detail how accommodating and restrictive immigration policies enacted in cities shape the everyday lives of undocumented immigrants—from where they decide to settle and how they form bonds to how they construct their own identities. With rich empirical portraits and elegant prose, García helps us to grasp the intricacies of one of the most important and complicated issues of our time. This is social science at its best."Tomás Jiménez

Angela S. Garcia will discuss her book Legal Passing: Navigating Everyday Life and Immigration Law and will be joined in conversation by Roberto Gonzales. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

This event is presented in partnership with CSRPC, the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago and UChicago Urban

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 interlocutor: Roberto G. Gonzales is professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research centers on contemporary processes of immigration and social inequality, and stems from theoretical interests at the intersection of race and ethnicity, immigration, and policy. In particular, his research examines the effects of legal contexts on the coming of age experiences of vulnerable and hard-to-reach immigrant youth populations. Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America (University of California Press 2015), is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for twelve years. In addition, Professor Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He is also collaborating with colleagues to investigate educator responses to school climate issues stemming from immigration policies.

About the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture: The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture was established by Michael C. Dawson, with a founding conference taking place in June of 1996 entitled, “Race and Voice: Challenges for the 21st Century.” From its inception, CSRPC faculty affiliates, students, and staff have been committed to establishing a new type of research institute devoted to the study of race and ethnicity, one that seeks to expand the study of race beyond the black/white paradigm while exploring social and identity cleavages within racialized communities.

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