By Eda Elif Tibet
(Originally posted on August 7: reposted here with permission from Youth Circulations)
Prior to a radio broadcast, I asked youth residing in a shelter for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Turkey to draw his dream of an ideal life. Showing them the outline of a world map with no country names and no borders, I asked them to draw their dreams of living any place they wanted. Below is an excerpt from my conversation with Caadil.
Elif: Caadil, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Caadil: My name is Caadil, I am from Somalia. I came in 2012 into Turkey. I am living in Istanbul and I am a student. Would this be enough?
Elif: Sure, thank you. Today, I asked Caadil to draw his dream. Could you tell us something about what you drew?
Migrant youth in the U.S. encounter competing media and institutional discourses that cast them as delinquents, ideal victims, or economic actors (See Heidbrink 2014; Statz 2016). Youth Circulations is largely devoted to the politics of these impossible representations.
What is often less considered is how the parents of young people are implicated in such narrations. In many ways, this is a more subtle though surely consequential process, with family members pathologized as neglectful, violent, poor, or otherwise deficient for presumably “sending” or being complicit in youths’ migration journeys. As our work reveals, these discourses are prevalent in legal accounts, popular portrayals, and migration studies scholarship. By implicitly dismissing the ongoing transnational connectedness of “unaccompanied” youth, they contort and fracture valued intimate relationships over time. Continue reading Threatening Parents?: What DHS Policies Remind Us About Unaccompanied Youth→
Though largely unrecognized by official planning instruments and unacknowledged by the public in anti-immigrant Arizona, immigrants are transforming metropolitan Phoenix. Visualizing Immigrant Phoenix, a student-faculty research collaborative I direct at Arizona State University, explores these transformations by engaging its audience through vibrant visualization of immigrants’ imprint upon the Phoenix urban environment. This project occurs at a time when immigrants are increasingly demonized, criminalized, and denied due process. Our work responds by according due importance to migrants’ creative and deliberate impacts on everyday urbanism in transnationalizing cities.
June 15 marks the 5-year anniversary of the DACA program. For the first time, a recent study analyzes DACA’s impacts on recipients’ psychological wellbeing. The results are clear: DACA can make you feel better, though it may not resolve concerns about deportation.
Undocumented immigrant youth in the United States face a host of challenges that impact their psychological wellbeing. Many experience hopelessness, shame and self-blame, anxiety, fear of deportation, and concern about blocked social mobility. One recent study found that undocumented youth experience a loss of “ontological security,” or the inability to count on the stability of the future. Another study led by immigrant youth at the UCLA Dream Resource Center found that undocumented youth struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, and emotional distress related to their status. There have even been reports of suicide among undocumented young people who felt they could not overcome the barriers imposed by their status.
This month, Youth Circulations features a series of conversations between two migration scholars, Heide Castañeda (University of South Florida) and Kristin Yarris (University of Oregon). In this series, Drs. Castañeda and Yarris creatively and critically examine representations of the circulation of Central American and Mexican migrants through what they describe as “a zone of transit” in Western Mexico. Their research is funded by The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and is a collaboration with Dr. Juan Manuel Mendoza of the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa.Continue reading “The Stress Along the Way”: Medicalization and Transit Migration→
This month, www.YouthCirculations.com features a series of conversations between two migration scholars – Heide Castaneda (University of South Florida) and Kristin Yarris (University of Oregon) creatively and critically examine representations of the circulation of Central American and Mexican migrants through zones of transit in Western Mexico. Take a look!