This class will introduce key issues shaping immigration enforcement at the United States-Mexico border. It will begin with a historical overview of the hardening of our borders, the formalization of restrictions, and the history of racial/ethnic exclusions to immigration and citizenship. We will then examine key contemporary policies and practices, including the roles of Border Patrol and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the crisis of migrant deaths at the border, the use of detention centers and family separation, the role of city and state police in immigration enforcement, debates about Sanctuary Cities, and the implications of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) for undocumented youth. Finally, we will look at how these policies and practices affect U.S. immigrants themselves and discuss how immigrant rights activists are responding to these struggles.
Jenna Christian is an assistant professor in women's and gender studies at Bucknell University, where she teaches both introductory and upper-level courses on feminist theory, politics, and activism. Her research has focused on the intersections among citizenship and immigration, the military, and race in the United States.