Saturday, July 31, 2010

Go On! Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest) It seems we’re seeing reactionary responses to cross-border migration everywhere —in the United States, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. But the positions of governments, employers, and non-foreign-born citizens seem to be cyclical or ambivalent, shifting with internal perceptions and misperceptions about competition over available resources and racial or ethnic cultural difference. Migration policy is also influenced by deliberate manipulation of gender and other class disparities that place downward pressure on wages and benefits, as well as environmental, economic, armed conflict, and political disasters that force migration from the home country. Finally, of course, migration flows can be shaped by the availability of unique opportunities in the host country or by the impact of unsustainable transnational trade and development policies affecting the home country.
Whatever the causes and macro- consequences of cross-border migration, immigrants and refugees are often among those who experience serious and continuing violations of economic, social, and cultural human rights . An upcoming “institute” at Northeastern University School of Law, co-chaired by Assistant Professor of Law Rachel Rosenbloom and IntLawGrrl and Professor of Law Hope Lewis, will examine economic, social, and cultural rights violations in U.S. immigrant communities. Here’s the summary:
"Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights"

Two significant trends in the treatment of noncitizens in the United States are the focus of this two-day institute. Beginning in the mid-1990s and gaining momentum after September 11, 2001, the federal government imposed increasingly harsh deportation policies, dramatically expanded the enforcement of immigration laws, and delegated more and more immigration enforcement power to state and local police — all in the name of national security. Similarly, a wave of state and local laws has been taking aim at the rights of noncitizens in areas such as employment, housing, health, family life, and education. During the same period, however, immigrant communities and their supporters throughout the U.S. are increasingly turning to human rights approaches in response.
On October 14-15, 2010, Northeastern University School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) will bring together a core group of leading immigration and human rights advocates, scholars, jurists and activists for a two-day intensive institute to address these developments within a human rights framework. What effects have harsh deportation policies and increased immigration enforcement had on the economic, social, and cultural rights of immigrants? What roles have discrimination and minority status played in undermining economic and social rights in immigrant communities? What can be learned from community-based or cross-cultural anti-discrimination strategies? What can be learned from administrative, academic, or judicial strategies? How are encroachments on such rights increasingly being used at the sub-national level as a tool of immigration enforcement? How can human rights strategies best be used to counter those effects?
Public Events
Public Roundtables will be held on Thursday, October 14,2010, at 11:45 a.m. and on Friday, October 15, 2010 at noon.
Confirmed institute participants include Ana Avendano (AFL-CIO), Jacqueline Bhabha (Harvard University), Arlene Brock (Ombudsman of Bermuda), Margaret Burnham (Northeastern University School of Law), Muzaffar Chishti (Migration Policy Institute, New York University), Ellen Gallagher (U.S. Department of Homeland Security), Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Human Rights), Marielena Hincapie (National Immigration Law Center), Nancy Kelly (Greater Boston Legal Services), Anjana Malhotra (Seton Hall School of Law), Susan Ostrander (Tufts University), Janis Roshuevel (Families for Freedom), Rinku Sen (Applied Research Center & ColorLines), Aarti Shahani (journalist), Jonathan Todres (University of Georgia School of Law), Paul Watanabe (University of Massachusetts, Boston), John Willshire-Carrera (Greater Boston Legal Services).

The institute will be followed by a workshop on "Bringing Human Rights Home to Immigrant Communities in Massachusetts" on Saturday, October 16, 2010, organized by Northeastern's Human Rights Caucus and other student groups. The Saturday workshop is also open to the public. For further information and questions about disability access, please contact events coordinator Jackie Davis.

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