Borders, Migration, and Crisis: A Critical Conversation

Black Star Co-op
7020 Easy Wind DR., Austin TX, 78752

Over the course of just this past month, the United States government implemented a policy of family separation of migrants (largely from Central America) coming across US borders; the US migration detention network – already the world’s largest – has been intensified and enhanced; the Supreme Court upheld the “Muslim Ban” broadly and specifically limited refugee access to the US; and internal security agencies like ICE have sharply increased both their actions and rhetoric at the border and across the country. In response to this series of events – and much beyond – there is an urgent need for critical conversation on what is happening in this moment, where it is coming from, and why. BISR is proud to host this forum and conversation on July 6th, in Austin, TX, co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin and Jolt Texas, in solidarity with Jolt’s Art Caravan for Children to Brownsville on July 8. Our July 6th event will also be streamed for those outside of Austin.

The initial conversation will be led by Nestor Rodriguez (UT Austin, Department of Sociology), Sarah Lopez (UT Austin, School of Architecture, Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice), Eduardo Canales (Executive Director of the South Texas Human Rights Center), Ana Vidina Hernández (UT Austin, Social Work) and Ajay Singh Chaudhary (BISR, Core Faculty, social and political theory). What is the history of cross-border migration and deportation? What is happening on the ground now? How are such events structured legally? Structured physically? What are some of the political, economic, geographic, and international contexts for migration? These are just some of the questions which will situate the conversation. Attendees are also encouraged to bring their questions.


  • Nestor Rodriguez

    Nestor Rodriguez is a sociology professor at The University of Texas at Austin. For many years he has researched, taught, and written about US immigration. His most recent publications include a book on Guatemalan migration to the US (2015, UT Press) and an article on the unaccompanied migration of Central American children to the United States (2016, Journal of Ethnicity and Migration Studies). He is currently working on a manuscript on migration and the development of the world economy.

  • Sarah Lopez

    Sarah Lopez, a built environment historian and migration scholar, is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Lopez’ book entitled, The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015. Currently, she is researching the architectural history of immigrant detention facilities, a portion of which contributed to the Humanities Action Lab’s States of Incarceration national exhibit on detention and incarceration. Lopez is a faculty affiliate with American Studies, the Amos Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies.

  • Ajay Singh Chaudhary

    Ajay Singh Chaudhary is the executive director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and a core faculty member specializing in social and political theory. His research focuses on social and political theory, Frankfurt School critical theory, political economy, media, religion, and post-colonial studies. He has written for the The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Quartz, Social Text, Dialectical Anthropology, The Jewish Daily Forward, Filmmaker Magazine, and 3quarksdaily, among other venues. Ajay is currently writing a book on the politics of climate change.

  • Eduardo "Eddie" Canales

    Eduardo Canales is the Executive Director of the South Texas Human Rights Center (STHRC) that is located in Falfurrias, Texas of Brooks County. A career labor organizer of immigrant workers in the farmworker, service, and construction industries, Canales has organized for labor and human rights of immigrants across the Southwest. Canales is currently directing the STHRC whose mission is the prevention of migrant deaths and coordinating efforts to assist families find their missing loved one and rescue, recover, identify and find the burials of unidentified migrants in South Texas.

  • Ana Vidina Hernández

    Ana Vidina Hernández is an upcoming graduate of the UT Austin dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Latin American Studies. Ana has coordinated the Social Work Detention Response Team through the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing for two years, working with interdisciplinary social work-law teams to provide supports to women and children at the Karnes detention center. Ana has also helped coordinate and provide services through a therapeutic group at the Hutto detention center for two years.  Ana’s other research has focused on migration, mental health, and connection to services for the undocumented community.

Event Schedule

Friday, 630-930PM
July 06, 2018


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