SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

‘Felons are also our Families': Emotions, Storytelling and Citizenship in the Undocumented Immigrant Youth Movement in the USA

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Dr Ala Sirriyeh (Keele University)

Date: 2 March 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 2 March 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

In the early 2000s a new civil rights movement - ‘the DREAMers’- emerged in the USA; part of growing migrant-led protest in the Global North, but unique in (eventually) being led by undocumented young people. Young people and migrants feature prominently as key populations within contemporary debates on rights, recognition and citizenship; and, viewed as incomplete citizens, they are often of key interest to policy makers. However, their identity as both migrant and young person means immigrant young people residing in the Global North sit at a cross section of contradictory policies, purporting to protect and include youth while excluding the unwanted migrant. Restrictive immigration and citizenship policies across the Global North mean that many in this generation, who arrived in 80s, 90s and 2000s during a period of growth in international migration, have grown up into adulthood in these nation states yet legally remain ‘non-citizens’. ‘The DREAMers’ began as a campaign for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who arrived in the USA as children and grew up there. In this paper I will explore the role of storytelling in the movement to examine how the relationship between the ‘story of us’ and the ‘story of all of us’ has been told and evolved over the last few years and how this might relate to questions of citizenship.

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Dr Ala Sirriyeh ‘Felons are also our Families': Emotions, Storytelling and Citizenship in the Undocumented Immigrant Youth Movement in the USA

About the speaker

Ala Sirriyeh is a Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Science and Public Policy at Keele University. Her research is in the field of migration and refugee studies with particular reference to young people and identities. Her recent book Inhabiting Borders, Routes Home: Youth, Gender, Asylum (Ashgate 2013) explored young refugee women’s narratives of home and transitions to adulthood.

 

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Contact email: cb92@soas.ac.uk