Illegality, youth and belonging, registration open for Harvard symposium

The registration is now open for the international symposium on ‘Illegality, youth, and belonging‘ hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education on 25-26 October.  The list of keynote speakers include Leo C. Chavez, Robert C. Smith, Leisy Abrego, Sarah Willen, Katharine M. Donato, Veronica Terriquez, Joanna Dreby. The symposium is the second in an event series on ‘Legal status, rights and belonging‘, jointly convened by Prof Roberto G. Gonzales (Harvard Graduate School of Education)  and Dr Nando Sigona (University of Birmingham).Registration fees are $50/$65. Places are limited, registration closes on 18th October.

Migrants welcome here

Anna Fifield on today’s FT writes an interesting piece on the proactive approach taken by cities like Baltimore and Dayton in US to attract more migrants to settle. This comes from the recognition that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, bring a new lease of life to ailing cities. To make Baltimore a safe haven to new comers last year the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, went so far as to sign an executive order prohibiting any city official from asking residents for their immigration status. On this side of the Atlantic, while we haven’t seen yet any local authorities to take such a bold stand, movements such as the Cities of Sanctuary or Strangers into Citizens enjoyed the support of numerous local authorities that wanted a more welcoming approach to migrants and a regularisation programme for those undocumented because they could see and appreciate the benefits that migrants bring to their cities, economically, socially and culturally.

The UK’s DREAMers? Undocumented children in Britain

tedxeastend Below the video of the talk I gave at TEDxEastEnd (Society Without Borders) last October. I start with a critical analysis of current deportation policy and practice, using as an example the UKBA’s Operation Mayapple. I then point to the gap that exists between those you are deported and those you are deportable, a significant gap despite the increasing use of deportation by Western governments. A closer look at the deportation gap shows that undocumented migrants are not all equally deportable and that children, in particular, are less likely to be forcibly removed. Nonetheless, in the UK these very children are not offered concrete routes to regularisation and are stranded in legal limbo. The Obama administration‘s executive decision that has recently granted a route to regularisation to up to 800,000 young undocumented migrants offers an example of a pragmatic and long term solution beneficial to both the children and society more broadly.