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Center for Human Rights and International Justice

Upcoming Events

constructing immigrant illegality book cover

Book discussion: Constructing Immigrant 'Illegality': Critiques, Experiences, and Responses

New date:

Thursday, April 30
7:00 p.m. 
Devlin 101

With co-editors Cecilia Menjívar, Professor of Sociology, Arizona St. University and Daniel Kanstroom, Professor of Law, Boston College.  Respondent: BC Professor of Social Work Westy Egmont.

The topic of “illegal” immigration has been a major aspect of public discourse in the United States and many other immigrant-receiving countries. From the beginning of its modern invocation in the early twentieth century, the often ill-defined epithet of human “illegality” has figured prominently in the media; in vigorous public debates at the national, state, and local levels; and in presidential campaigns. In this collection of essays, contributors from a variety of disciplines – anthropology, law, political science, religious studies, and sociology – examine how immigration law shapes immigrant illegality, how the concept of immigrant illegality is deployed and lived, and how its power is wielded and resisted. The authors conclude that the current concept of immigrant illegality is in need of sustained critique, as careful analysis will aid policy discussions and lead to more just solutions.  

To celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of this volume, Professors Menjívar and Kanstroom will join us to discuss this important work.  Light refreshments to be served.

See the event flyer here.

aviva chomsky

Book discussion: Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal

Tuesday, May 12
12:00 p.m.
Stokes N428

With Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State University

Dr. Chomsky will discuss her most recent book: Undocumented: How Imiigration Became Illegal (2014) 

Chomsky is an American historian, author, and activist. She teaches at Salem State University in Massachusetts, where she is also the coordinator of the Latin American studies program. She previously taught at Bates College in Maine and was a Research Associate at Harvard University, where she specialized in Caribbean and Latin American history. Her recent work has been in three main areas: the Cuban revolution, northern Colombia's coal industry, and immigraiton and undcoumentedness in the United States.  She incorporates the issues of economic development, migration, labor, environment and global inequality in her work. 

A light lunch to be provided.  RSVP to


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