Challenging Authoritarianism Part 3: Immigration and National Security

By | September 8, 2019

(light music) – Good afternoon, thanks for coming to our final panel of today’s symposium. So for those who don’t know
me, my name’s Osamah Khali. I’m the organizer of today’s symposium, I’m a professor in the history department. Some of you are also
attended last night’s movie, which served as a book
end to this symposium, which looked at the Japanese
American incarceration during World War II and
its enduring legacy, particularly it’s in impact
on immigration policies. And as I noted during last night’s movie, and as we talked a
little about this morning in the morning panels, the symposium is unfortunately very timely in a number of different ways. On the issue of immigration,
over the past week there have been a series of
forced resignations and firings in the Department of Homeland Security which oversees a number of
the governmental agencies that are responsible
for immigration issues. And at the same time, this comes
as the Trump administration is directly linked to
the Trump admnistration’s continued attempts to
manufacturer a crisis on the US southern border. So how many of you, the clip I played, how many of you heard or
seen that or know of it? Do you know what it is? Do you know the context for that? I could see the parents
in the room wincing because you know. So that was taken over the summer. It was secretly recorded
at a detention facility at the height of the
family separation crisis which is still ongoing
and that was a young girl, a six year old girl crying almost nonstop and another girl who was pleading
with the border officials, that she had memorized
her aunt’s phone number and wanted to be put
in touch with her aunt in the United States. So once this was leaked to
the Pro Publica Organization, this created a bit of a
firestorm, but apparently not. So and it put pressure on
the Trump administration, related to family separation
to “End this policy.” Although they have recently admitted that there are thousands
of children quite frankly and it will take months if
not at least a year or more to reunite them with their parents. So in that light, the
administration’s zero tolerance policy on immigration, including
family separations I just talked about for those, how many of you are
familiar with this policy of family separation before I go too far? Okay. And the denial of entry to asylum seekers is only exacerbating this
existing immigration issue, which of course predates
the Trump administration. But these policies has been on the administration’s travel ban as was talked about last night and which was instituted shortly after President Trump came to office and after several modifications, was upheld by the US Supreme Court. So although the zero tolerance policies including family separation
and denial of asylum, denial of entry asylum seekers which is a violation not only of US law but international law is
currently being challenged. As we talked about last
night, it’s unclear that there will be relief in the courts. And these immigration policies
fit into a longer history of demonizing and targeting others that predates the current administration and is not just limited to the US as we’ll talk about with
our transnational panel. this fits into a very broader
trend around the world. So with that, by way of that introduction, allow me to introduce our
very distinguished panel. Jan Dowell is a professor in
SU’s Philosophy Department. Her areas of research
are ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of the mind and
philosophy of language. She’s also the head of Syracuse Divest, an organization dedicated
to securing issues, public commitment to
for-profit prison divestment. Shana Christian Gadarian
is Associate Professor of Political Science
at the Maxwell School. She studies American politics with a focus on political behavior
and clinical psychology and her book Anxious Politics, Democratic Citizenship
In a Threatening World won the Robert Lane Award for best book in political psychology from the American Political
Science Association. Audi Klotz. How was that? Is that okay? Close enough? Is a Professor of Political Science here at the Maxwell School. She’s the author of two books, including Migration and National
Identity in South Africa, 1860 to 2010 and she’s
co-edited two items. She’s also the author of third book, a coauthor of a third book rather and has won two career honors from the International
Studies Association. The first a is a Tickner Award in 2014 for Innovative Scholarship
and the second was in 2018, the Distinguished Scholar
Award of the Ethnic Nationalism and Migration Section. And finally, Sefa Secen
is a doctoral candidate in the Department Political Science who his general research
areas include refugees, minority rights and
Middle Eastern politics and he’s currently working
on his dissertation which focuses on securitization
of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon. So please join me in welcoming our panel. (audience applauding) It’s up to you if you want
to sit or you want to stand. Okay. – I don’t have slides ’cause
I didn’t have enough time, so I apologize. Normally I start with a slide that says Africa is not a country. Kinda harks back to
Ezra’s slide earlier today about the former Yugoslavia. What I would add to Osamah’s otherwise very generous introduction, is that I had been working on researching and teaching migration
issues for 20 years. And between my own research
in southern Africa, Europe and North America
as well as teaching on pretty much every
other region of the world. And I teach, have to teach, I have to follow what’s going
on in the United States. Only recently have I started
doing some historical, mostly historical research
on the United States, but as a consumer of US immigration policy and some of its disasters
from my perspective in the last two years, I’ve had to learn all about the intricacies of the American court system and whatnot. So, I will set aside my personal views after I announce, pronounce
that Steven Miller, who is the major adviser
in the current White House in my view deserves and I hope
at some point will be charged with crimes against humanity. So you know where I’m coming from. On a more analytical note, I can’t address all of
the wonderful questions that Osamah’s circulated. So I thought I would
shift gears a little bit and ask everybody in the room, speaking of strategies of resistance to think about two things. One is a set of terminologies that are currently used and broadly used in discussions of immigration
and migration policies and then a little bit
depending on my time, a little more briefly about how we think about comparisons and what if anything are the relevant comparisons for what’s going on in the United States. Okay so first let’s start
just with that term refugee. Refugee has a colloquial meaning, but refugee also has
a very precise meaning in international law. The current administration
is playing around with that definition, which
includes a fundamental principle called non refinement
which is you will not eject an asylum seeker back
into harm’s way basically. The United States is not the only country messing around with the
technical definitions and precise implications of some policies towards asylum seekers. But it’s very important for those of us who care about the
politics of this situation to be careful in expressing
humanitarian solidarity. So when I hear otherwise very
understandable expressions about sympathy towards people
coming from Central America who are trying to achieve a better life, it plays into the denialists
about asylum and refugees because it makes it look like oh, they really just want to come
here for economic reasons when in fact, they do fall generally under the principles of the
international definition of refugee, which focuses on persecution and various categories of persecution including social group. There are also important distinctions about transit countries
and we do not talk enough about Mexico in this situation. So one of many reasons I would like you to always just be conscious about when and how you
use the term refugee and encourage you to
use it in the technical international legal sense and less so in the more emotive humanitarian sense, even though that may be
what resonates for you. There’s this broader
question of what is a crisis? There are theoretical
and political meanings to the word crisis and in the introduction apparently Sefa’s gonna
talk about securitization and securitization theory. So I will not go in great detail. I will only emphasize that
for the last 30 years or so, there was a thriving literature and international
relations on securitization and it deals in particular
with this notion of crisis and the use of rhetoric to trigger crises that enable governments to then do things, emergency measures. So everything that the Trump
administration is doing by invoking a crisis on the border fits exactly into the framework
of securitization theory. So I encourage you not to
just loosely use the term securitization or crisis,
unless you want to delve into the more precise theoretical
ways in which it’s used, in which case I encourage you
to make those connections. Third term, which
absolutely drives me bonkers is White nationalism. It is not nationalism. It is transnationalism. There was a 200 or more year history of transnational White supremacists. They rise, they decline. At the moment it’s a bit resurgent, but there are a lot of similarities. There are many lessons we could learn, but every time somebody
uses the word nationalism, they negate the
transnational aspects of it. I will give you just a few. The Rhodesian military insignia. It’s apparently very trendy amongst radical rights advocates, including the man who shot dead people in the Charleston Church. As a specialist on Rhodesia
and the Zimbabwean transition, I find it appalling that people have
rediscovered this insignia. I find it also ironically amusing that they are invoking yet
another failed military, just like the confederates. So we will move on. They also have in eastern Europe, appropriated the confederate flag. So it is not a lost cause
that’s about heritage, not hate. It is a very potent
transnational symbol of hate. So we need to be bringing
these things out into the open and anytime somebody
talks about nationalism it presumes that the politics
is local, not international. I could spend a lot more time talking about and unpacking
what is White nationalism. All you have to do is go
back to Wilson’s 14 points in the implementation
of self determination to see some lessons about how
for the last 100 years or so, nationalism has been appropriated
in certain sorts of ways. We need to obviously unpack race along lines of ethnicity, religion. I would add that xenophobia
as much as it is problematic is not always racism. There is xenophobia in South Africa, Africans attacking other Africans. So what specifically is
xenophobia versus racism? I am not saying that
we should reject racism or xenophobia as categories. I think we need to think
about them in precise ways. So I can give you lots of other examples about the transnationalism of this. There’s the literacy test that started in the southern United States and spanned to South Africa
and went around to Australia and all sorts of other places. There were the quota acts in the 1930s that spread all around the world. So we should be careful
about what we consider “Best practices.” That brings me to my
second set of questions and here I’m gonna be
a little brief, I hope. How do we decide what to compare? The joke in the political
science department is every time I say, well
maybe the Americanist could add a Canada comparison. And they chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. Oh, you teach a course on Canada. Ha ha ha, right? Well, fortunately Shana is one of my few Americanist colleagues who
was actually venturing out into the world of comparative politics. Yay, thank you. But it’s interesting to me that
especially in the discussion about radical right in white nationalism, the comparisons that
everybody wants to make understandably are about Nazi Germany. I understand that emotionally but it’ll be to places
like Hungary and whatnot and I’m like, you know, are those really the appropriate comparisons
from a comparative politics? How do you pick your case
selection kind of question or maybe there’s some
other things going on there like Americans are willing to compare themselves to Europeans, but they’re not willing
to compare themselves maybe to other parts of the world. And you guessed it, South Africa. We had a panel this morning about, actually we had two panels this morning where South Africa would
have fit really nicely. There was a big debate
about the transition, the defeat of apartheid
in the 1994 elections as whether or not it was the consequence of the collapse of the
Cold War, for instance. But more relevant would be, there was a discussion
about what is democracy and what is authoritarianism
and the panelists role kind of stepping back from that. But South Africa was always
a mix of authoritarianism and democracy, limited democracy. So when the Trump election
came down the pike on what was that? November 9th, 2016, I was
having an out of body experience because I always wondered
what would I have done if I had been living
in South Africa in 1948 when the nationalists got elected? For those who don’t know
any South African history, the nationalists were radical
on a spectrum of racists. They were radical, right? They won as a minority government because of an electoral
system that validated, gave higher percentage to
rural votes versus urban votes. Sounds a little familiar. They manipulated all sorts of
electoral roles after that. They eliminate or what was
called the colored vote. they packed the bureaucracy
where there are supporters. Shock. They took over the courts. They didn’t completely succeed and they treated all Africans
as migrants and criminals. That was the apartheid system. It was a system of migration control. The South African government
in implementation, except for what it was an
authoritarian government. If the apartheid system failed
to manage African migration, why in the world do any other
governments around the world think that they can control borders? There were a lot of really sad, innovating but optimistic lessons from
the apartheid experience. First it failed. Second is my silver lining. There is a little bit of
resilience in the legal system that’s survived 40 plus years. I put a lot of my donations
into the legal NGOs that are doing all these
court filings by the way. But also there is really longterm damage. So even if you think
that solving this problem in the next two years by
getting out to vote and all that is a solution, it is a partial solution but longterm damage
takes a really long time and it’s incomplete. Right now, South Africa is celebrating 25 years of democracy. It has elections in about a week. There’s a lot of internal
scrutiny going on in South Africa about the strengths and weaknesses of its experiences with these legacies. I encourage you to go beyond Trevor Noah, but use him as your
entree into understanding what has been going on and
take some lessons from it. (applauding) – [Osamah] Thank you Audie. – All right. Thank you for the opportunity to share. So, Osamah asked us to
speak to many questions, including the relationship between immigration and national security. What I study is the ways
in which average people think about and react to crises, whether or not they are real or whether or not they are
actual crises on the ground. And so this is a project
that I’ve been working on with some European colleagues, looking at reactions to terrorist
attacks in Europe in 2015. So I’m gonna breeze through
a lot of the background but just so to understand the context in which we’re working in, we’re looking at how average
people across five countries, four in Europe, one in the US. So I am now doing compare… I generally work in the US. I’m now doing comparative
work and it’s hard, right? Comparing countries is hard, but looking, we are going to be looking
at the relationship between people’s concerns
and fears of terrorism and then their immigration attitudes and attitudes about refugees in the wake of terrorist
attacks in Europe. So just to give you a kind
of a very brief overview, we’re working in a kind of context where there has been an increasing number of terrorist attacks in Europe,
from about 2015 to 2017. Okay. And at the same time, we have the largest mass migration of people
since World War II coming into Europe at the same time. We have more than one
million refugees and migrants coming into Europe mostly
as a function of war in the places where
people are coming from. These people who are coming into Europe in this time period are ethnically
and religiously distinct from the majority native populations in most of the host
countries they’re going to. So we’re talking about many ways in which the refugees coming into Europe are different in ways that are threatening to the people on the ground. And immigration, as you might
remember, played a large role in the American presidential
campaign in 2016, the Brexit discussions general underlies attitudes about populism in Europe. So we have these kind of two streams of what we might consider
either real or created crises. And at the same time, we
have political rhetoric coming from particularly the
right in America and Europe that makes this connection
between fears of terrorism. So actual attacks and blaming either that terrorism on
immigrants and refugees themselves or saying that one of the ways to be safe is to close borders and to
keep the native population safe from these scary immigrants. So this is Donald Trump
calling for a complete and total shutdown of
Muslims entering the US in December, 2015 which again, he implements as quickly as
he can once taking office. Again, get stopped by the courts briefly but then is essentially, this
ban is essentially in law. Okay so again, having to
answer questions in Q&A about all of the kind of
political psychology here but our theory is that
threats about terrorism increase worry about terrorism. And when people are worried,
they seek out policies that they believe will protect them. And those policies that
people are sold as protective, often are ones that are again, ones that will limit immigration. Particularly when immigrants themselves are seen as an outgroup, they’re
threatening on a cultural or economic level. Again, that doesn’t mean
they are in fact threatening. It’s the perception of threat,
which is most important here. And we also know that terrorism decreases trust in outgroups. So I’m going to skip something. So how do we test this theory? We have a set of surveys that
we send out into the field across five countries. Again, Norway, Finland. I should say this is joint work with the Institute for Social
Research in Oslo, Norway and it is funded by a grant from the Norwegian Research Council and France and Spain
and the United States. We use gallop there and
we have two waves of data right after the Paris attacks, about three weeks after we’re
in the field, December, 2015. We have about 7,800 respondents
across those five countries. We ask them survey questions
about their concerns about terrorism and a lot of questions about their immigration attitudes. In January, 2017, we go back
to a subset of those people, 2300 of them, and then
we have a new fresh, cross section of people of 7,800 people. So in total, we’re talking
about 18,000 people we’ve surveyed over
these two time periods. So just to give you a sense of the data, we asked people how worried
they are about themselves becoming a victim of a terrorist attack or a family member and
how worried they are about a future terrorist attack. So this goes… (mumbles) from not at all worried to very
worried on this x axis here. So people across, and this
is the two time periods, 2017 are the blue dots, 2015
are the gray diamonds here. So couple of things to note. One, people are very concerned
about becoming victims or their countries being
victimized by terrorism over these two time periods and there’s not a ton of
difference between people in France who actually had those
experiences of a terrorist attack and people in the US
and Norway who did not. Part of this I think is
a story about the media and I’m happy to answer
questions about that. When we ask people should your country stop accepting refugees? The higher the bar, the
more likely they are to say this is averages across the countries. The more likely they are to say, yes, our country should stop taking refugees. Again, the politicians are
making this connection for people between terrorism comes from refugees and we should stop the refugee
flows in order to be safer. The highest support for that is in France, but the US is not far behind. Again, the US did not experience
the Paris attacks directly. So I know there’s a lot of dots here but our expectation is that
the more worried people are about terrorism, that’s every
single dot here is going, the x axis is the fear of terrorism. So the higher, the more fearful
you are about terrorism, the more likely you are in every country to wanna tighten immigration, you want stricter control refugees, the less likely you want to integrate immigrants you already have. The more worried you are about terrorism, even in a country like Norway, which one, doesn’t have a lot of immigrants and two has not experienced
terrorism quite like this, the less likely you are to be supportive of immigration policy. And I’m just gonna and for
those of you who are wondering, we do have these, we have
2000 people who we asked in both 2015 and 2017. The fear of terrorism
predicts your attitudes about immigration in 2017 almost
as well as it does in 2015. So this is a very long lasting effect. The other thing that we
find is that for people, again, fear of terrorism
is here on the x axis. For people who are fearful of terrorism, the less trusting they are
in Muslims and immigrants. This is not true if you ask them how much they trust Christians. The effect of fear of terrorism does not predict your
attitudes about Christians in the same way that it does Muslims. So I’m just going to.. Yeah, okay. So just as an overall to
wrap up, fearful publics want a more restrictive immigration refugee and
integration policies. This affects both noncitizens
and religious minorities. And it’s the question of the whole project about is whether or not
societies can become resilient in the face of terrorism. I think there’s large questions about whether or not that is possible. Thanks. (applauding) – Thanks Shana. Yeah, switch over. – Hi everybody. (mumbles) Oh yeah. These are my slides? I wanna particularly talk about securitization of Syrian
refugees in Turkey and Lebanon but before doing that, I wanna talk about securitization briefly. That’s the theoretical aspect
of my dissertation project. Audie also kind of like
emphasized the fact that we shouldn’t be using
this term in a very loose way. And I agree with that. Securitization in general
it is kind of like discussing an issue in mainly in reference to military, societal,
economic and political security and all these different
sectors of the security can be identified in many
different ways as well. But here, I’m not gonna go
into the details of those. I’ll just kind of like
dissolve some images from my case countries. The first two images are
from Turkey and Lebanon. The other images are from like
this image is from Germany and that one is from the United States. I’ll kind of like discuss these images in relation to domestic
political developments taking place in those countries. When the refugees enter into a country, not only their kind of
like physical presence. They’re gonna become physical
presence in another country but their political
impacts of social impacts are gonna be discussed by the majority. And different groups
within the host countries might have different
positions towards refugees. For example, in those countries and not only the political parties with different segments of the society. Religious groups, political groups also have different
attitudes towards refugees. For example, I’m gonna discuss
the first image from Turkey. This lady that you see on the side, actually, she was running
in the local elections which took place almost
two weeks ago in Turkey. This was one of her kind of like, this was a part of her election rhetoric. This translates that, it’s
in Turkish, it says like (speaks foreign language) In English at means, we
are not going to surrender this local place to the Syrian refugees. That’s of course like
there can be discussed in relation to other
things in this country, but that by itself kind of
a sign of securitization and she is a member of an ultra nationalists political party. That political party only represents maybe 10% of the Turkish society, but still, that has become
a political rhetoric being used by a political party. And the second image is from Lebanon. And the sign says like this
is from demonstrations, anti-Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The sign says like (speaks foreign language) Meaning that like, not to lose Lebanon, let’s negotiate with
the Syrian governments because some forces within Lebanon, you know, I can talk about
the Lebanese political system because it’s a confessional democracy. The president is a Maronite Christian, prime minister is a Sunni Muslim and the head of the
parliament is a Shia Muslim. The political powers are kind of divided between the different
sectarian powers and mainly, since most of the Syrian
refuges are Sunni. Now, Sunni political forces in Lebanon, they see Sunni refugees
as a potential threat to their political status. But that’s not because of the fact that they don’t like refugees. That’s just because of the fact that presence of Sunni Syrian refugees will have certain implications for their political status in the country. Because like then Sunni is
gonna make up the majority and that’s gonna impact
the political system. And this sign says again,
to not to lose Lebanon, negotiate with the Syrian government and find a way to return
refugees back to Lebanon. All they also briefly
talked about kind of like, this term refugee and
international relations. We have to use it very carefully. Syrian refugees in Lebanon, they are refugees under international law. They’re kind of like recognized
as refugees by the UNHCR, registered as refugees by UNHCR
but the Lebanese government does not really recognize
them as refugees. Called them na-zi-hun. Na-zi-hun means like gas. They don’t have this refugee status. And at the same time, despite the fact that
under international law, none of the countries can involuntarily repatriate refugees. Main political parties in Lebanon today are negotiating the kind of involuntary repatriation
of Syrian refugees. And that’s partly maybe mostly related with the sector and makeup
of the political system. And there are of course, economic factors affecting peoples and political parties introduced towards Syrian refugees. Because like Lebanon is a small country, it’s population used
to be like five million before the refugee crisis today. It’s population is six million and there are like one
million Syrian refugees. And as you would imagine,
the country’s population increased 20% within a
matter of a couple of years and that’s gonna have certain consequences for the country and for the economy. And given the fact that Lebanon is not a very developed country, it lacks basic economic resources, then that kind of like even
creates further problems. And this again, this one is from Germany. Let us make Germany great again. This was from one of the protests against Syrian refugees in Germany. I think most of the
attendees were the members of the alternative Germany party. They Neo Nationalist Party. They are also mainly
using an economic logic to kind of criticize (mumbles) policies towards Syrian refugees and kind of like refugees within that context are mainly seen as an economic threat, kind of draining the state’s resources, putting a new burden on the economy and the last one is from the United States and in parallel to Shana’s presentation, within the kind of United States contacts, especially like refugees from
Muslim majority countries are more likely to be associated with kind of like terrorism and that logic becomes
kind of like, the ground to adopt anti refugee policies. And just like talking
about Syrian refugees, these are like some basic statistics. Let me talk about refugees, that’s different than
the migration in general. Most of the Syrian refugees
are in the Middle East. There are like six million Syrian refugees and fie million off them are being hosted in the Middle East. On the basis of these numbers, we could say that it shouldn’t
be such a great threat for the countries in the periphery and for the overseas countries. Because like most of the refugees are in the Middle Eastern countries and this is where the
securitization becomes important. It’s not only about the numbers, it’s not only about the
realities on the ground, the number of refugees. It’s about how a periphery
country or an overseas country perceives the situation. For example, Brexit. I don’t know how many refugees
the UK has admitted so far, but it was a big issue for the UK and I think played an important role in the Brexit decision. And for other European
countries for Hungary or Poland, I think the Middle East refugee crisis wasn’t really a big
crisis for those countries because like not many refugees ended up living in those countries, but still, the refugee
crisis in the Middle East made a huge impact on those countries on the political system,
not on the political system, but on the kind of like, on
the election results in Poland. The Nationalist Party came to power and that can be said in some
of the other countries as well and about the EU. Some of the EU member countries violated some of the
essential rules of the EU. For example, like
Hungary just built fences to prevent the entry of refugees and that was a violation of
like an of Schengen Visa system. In the European Union,
it’s a borderless continent under the rules of the EU but states started to kind of like, strictly protect and police their borders in the face of the Syrian refugee crisis. And I think that was my
answer to the first question. Immigration is not a natural
maybe security threat, especially for the refugees, especially the Syrian refugees. They are not a direct security threat for most of European countries
and for the United States, but they have been
presented so in some cases and I think that shows the impact of this process of securitization. No matter whether they kind of like pose real threats to those countries, they can be presented as security threats, depending on the domestic
context and politics. I think that’s all. – Thank you Sefa. (applauding) (mumbles) – Hi. (mumbles) (child crying) It’s not wholly irrelevant
to what I’m gonna say. So as Osamah mentioned
in the introduction, I’m Jan Dowell. I’m actually in the philosophy department, so my research is not
in my political science. My research is not an immigration policy. The reason I’m here today is because I’m head of Syracuse Divest, which is an on-campus organization dedicated to securing our
university’s public commitment to divestment from the for
profit prison industry. So you might wonder
why the heck is someone who is trying to convince the university to divest from the for profit
prison industry here today talking about immigration
policy and national security? So one of the questions that
we were asked to speak to was the question of the role
that national security threats play in explaining our
current immigration policies. Is it the case that genuine
national security threats are playing a role in
explaining the expansion of immigrant detention in
the US in the last two years? Or rather, is that just a
manufactured explanation for the increase in detention? Is it a rather some other explanation? And so that’s where my background in for profit prisons comes in. So if you look at the data and I’ll throw some data up on the board, you’ll notice that there’s
a greater by far in a way, a greater correlation between lobbying by the for profit prison
industry over the last two years and increasing detention
policies that increase detention and then there is between policies that favor increase detention and genuine national security threats. Before I dive into the details of that by saying something about the influence that the for-profit
prison industry has had by its lobbying efforts on
current administration policies, I just wanna say something
about where my data comes from. So most, many of the bits of data that I’ll be throwing up a
bunch of data on the screen and many of the bits of the
data that you’ll see up there are from this institute called the Migration Policy Institute, which is a nonpartisan institute dedicated to collecting
cutting edge research on immigration and migration statistics so as to help promote
intelligent policy decisions. They focus on US policy
and migration patterns, but they’re really more generally do speak to migration questions
that arise internationally. To find this data is gonna go by quickly. So to find this data
later if you would like, please do look go to our Facebook page, which is Syracuse Divest and I’ll have all of
these slides available if not sometime later
today, then by tomorrow. So first, just as a bit of background. The two major publicly traded
for-profit prison companies in the US Geo Group and CoreCivic. I’m assuming everybody in this room knows that there are
for-profit prison companies. There are some prisons in the US that are maintained and run
by companies for a profit and the the government, state governments, but also the federal government sources out these prison
contracts to these companies and the major, the two major
publicly traded companies, they together have about half, have cornered about half
the for-profit prison market in the US are Geo Group and CoreCivic. Prior to Trump’s election
even under Obama, about 62% of all immigrants
incarcerated in the US were in for-profit prisons. So quite a high percent, but as we’ll see, there’s been some massive growth in that under the Trump administration. So, let’s see. I’m not sure it’s not, oh, there we go. Okay. So I’m gonna go over this pretty quickly. Although reliance on, although there was expanded detention under the initial years of
the Obama administration, towards the end of his administration, he seriously cut back on ICE enforcement. And in August of 2016, he announced that the Federal Bureau of Prisons would no longer be relying
on for-profit prisons in which to detain
their federal prisoners. The next day, the stocks
for these two companies fell dramatically. That same day, the
industry donated $150,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC. November, 2016 one week
before the election, Geo Group gives $125,000 to
the same pro-Trump super PAC and one day after his election, the stocks for these
companies went massively up. So we can see that it’s very important to the
health of this industry that we maintain reliance on the service that they were providing and that one important way of doing so is by rounding up increasing
numbers of immigrants and detaining them. Some other sources of influence. So, both companies gave $250,000 to the Trump Inaugural Committee. So this is just a
timeline of the influence around this period. On the 25th, Trump signs
an executive order, Executive Order 13767 which
calls for the expansion of immigrant enforcement and expansion of immigrant detention and also calls for the building of new for-profit prison facilities in which to incarcerate the
newly detained immigrants. And the assuming two weeks the stocks for these two
companies surge again and shortly thereafter,
the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds Obama’s order winding down the reliance on… Rescinds the order winding down the reliance on these prisons. So there are two questions
I wanna ask right now. One is in terms of legislative influence, what are these companies giving and then I wanna ask in terms of policy, what are they getting? What kind of bang for their
buck are they getting? So in 2017, Geo Group
spent over $1.7 million on lobbying that was a
70% increase over 2016. I guess they figured that their investment and the 2016 election
turned out to be a winner in terms of how their stock prices changed with Trump’s election. Also, the Geo Group announced in 2017 that they will henceforth be
holding their annual conference at the Trump Golf Course. In 2017, their combined
revenue for these two publicly traded for-profit
prison companies was over four billion dollars
and their influence continued into 2016 with additional
lobbying of Congress. Okay, so what are they getting other than these enormous profits? What are these companies getting and surges in their stock prices, what are these companies getting for what they’re giving? There’s been an increase, a sharp increase in the percentage of
incarcerated immigrants who are incarcerated in
for-profit prisons facilities that went from about 62% under
Obama to 70% under Trump. And that’s even though the number of, the average number of immigrants
detained in this country on any given day rose by 40%. So we’re still getting an
increased percentage of immigrants detained in for-profit prison
facilities at the same time that we have this huge increase in the number of immigrants
who are getting detained. So what are some of the policies that are behind this huge increase in the number of immigrants that are being detained in the US? There are a couple of really, a couple of industry friendly policies I’d like to draw your attention to. This one you may know less about. So there’s been a great
expansion in mandatory detention, mandatory detention is
what it sounds like. If you meet a certain criteria, then ICE is permitted to round you up or must round you up and detain you. So the Trump administration has given ICE historically broad powers to
detain undocumented immigrants. So the class of individuals
who were mandatorily detained has greatly expanded. Moreover, ICE in turn has refused despite an ACLU lawsuit
has refused to make public its guidelines on which it’s basing its particular detention decisions. And so this has had the effect. Some have complained that
this has had the effect of giving ICE the capacity
to just lock up immigrants, whether they’re criminals or not. Moreover, in a recent court ruling, the Supreme Court has
recognized ICE’s Authority to indefinitely detain any immigrant once they’ve been taken
to a criminal custody, regardless of how many years
have passed since the release. Let me just say what
that means for a minute. So suppose you were an
undocumented immigrant and you are found perhaps
for no fault of your own in possession of a stolen
bus pass 20 years ago, you were taken into criminal custody, perhaps you were released, perhaps you were asked
to pay some penalty, you’ve paid your penalty and you’ve left the
criminal justice system. The Supreme Court has set
held is that such immigrants who have completed whatever penalty they were asked to complete for even relatively
small criminal violations like possession of a stolen bus pass, no matter how long ago, you’re permitted to or
rather ICE is required to locate and re-incarcerate
such individuals and they’re permitted to
indefinitely detain them. I’ll say more about that in a minute. More famous policy, of course, very for-profit prison friendly policy is of course the famous
family separation policy. The evil of the family separation policy is probably well down, but the role of the
for-profit prisons have played in encouraging the administration to implement such policies,
perhaps less well known. So there’s a 1997 law of how
do we get child separation? There’s a 1997 law that says children can’t be held in immigrant detention
for longer than 20 days. So if we keep, of course their parents can be held in detention
for longer than 20 days, but they can’t if we have to
keep the families together. So if you separate children
from their families, you can avoid falling
foul of the 20-day rule at the same time as keeping
their parents in detention for much, much longer periods
of time, perhaps indefinitely. Okay. So family separation meant more
people could be incarcerated for longer periods of time and
that was good for business. When family separation failed, because of course there
was this hue and outcry, Trump’s new policy was
to allow for children to be incarcerated for longer. So we’ll keep families together, but we’ll incarcerate children
for longer periods of time. In the last week of course,
I hope is well known, Trump has renewed his call for
the family separation policy. Okay so, as I mentioned at the beginning, we’re calling for our university to divest from the for-profit prison industry and I’ve just told you something about the role that for-profit
prisons have played in creating the immigration nightmare that we are currently seeing in the US. So one question you might
ask is, well, how bad is it? We’re talking about detention. I mean, hopefully everybody knows that the family separation
policy is truly awful. But we might in general wonder, just so we’re detaining more immigrants, but how bad is it really, you might ask. So, the topic of this workshop is Immigration and Authoritarianism. So let me say a little something about the ways in which
this immigration policy is a complete human rights disaster. First thing to know is that the standards governing detention facilities
and the immigrant detention facilities in the US
are the same standards for pretrial prisons in the US. So it’s the same standard as
for jails and pretrial prisons. So not a very high standard. We treat these facilities as if they were criminal facilities, yet immigration offenses
are civil offenses, they’re not criminal offenses. And what that means is that
incarcerated immigrants lack the rights that criminal
defendants have access to. For example, a court appointed lawyer. So they’re staying in facilities
that are intended for, that are of the same standards
of intended for criminals, but they’re being held
under a civil offense. And getting back to this
recent supreme court ruling, because their offenses are
civil and not criminal, again, they don’t have the same rights that criminal defendants
have under the US law. So for example, they’re not entitled to periodic bond hearings
and that’s why the recent Supreme Court ruling
is tantamount to saying that they can be held, that immigrants can be held
in detention indefinitely. Many legal experts, I’m
not a legal expert myself, but many legal experts have
said that this is a violation of the constitution’s
right to due process. I’m gonna and in the interest of time, we can talk about this a bit later, but on the topic of Immigration
and Authoritarianism, the Department of Homeland Security has been given a lot of
discretionary power over its budget. So Congress gives the
DHS all kinds of money for things like immigration
courts and immigration lawyers so that an immigration judges
and so the cases can be heard in an expeditious way,
but the DHS has the power to take that funding and funding for FEMA at transferred over to
ICE and enforcement. So that’s one consequence. You know that all familiar already with the way in which the
family separation policy and detention in general for children is extraordinarily traumatic. So again, these will be on the circuits to the vest page later. I just give you two photos. This is Jakelin Caal who’s
seven years old who died in a US border patrol custody
in December, last December. This is Felipe Gomez Alonzo
who also died the same month, eight years old. Let me… Should I? (mumbles) Let’s come back to it at the end, okay. – Thank you Jan.
– Thank you. (applauding) – So Audie, I’d like to come back to you and if we can kind of turn
back and connect these, these four presentations a bit. There’s several themes that run through. One is the issue of political rhetoric, the other is the issue of legal regimes that are guiding immigration
or influencing immigration, the role of the media
and finally, economics. So both economics is a driving factor but also as Sefa and as Shana mentioned and as you mentioned,
there’s also this idea of refugees and migrants
as an economic threat to the existing political order. So I’m wondering in your own research, on an international level and then as you’ve looked at the
US as a comparative, how do those factors interrelate and is one more predominant together? The political rhetoric or
political opportunism around it versus economics versus
the role of the media in kind of shaping political discourse. – So I am not a media specialist. I’m actually more of a structuralist. So I’ll let Shana weigh in on
some of the media questions. I will point out those
securitization theory has a lot of people who have studied the role of the media and some
of the political rhetoric. So there are plenty of scholars that could answer that question. I think one of the mythologies actually the years and years
of migration research shows is that there is no direct connection between economics and migration patterns or reactions to migration patterns. So I think we can eliminate that even though it’s a recurring issue. So some of the general considerations, there’s usually a
significant lag between say, a dip in the economy or
a rise in the economy and its effect on migration flows, especially since 1965 in the United States most of migration flows just
in terms of the percentages are through family unification. Most of the undocumented
people in the United States come in on valid visas. So there’s tons and tons
of kind of empirical work that has been done on the United
States and other countries that basically shows some
of the more kind of classic, its economic factors, kind of
arguments go by the wayside. I think then it comes down to how is immigration or
migration used politically and that’s where I think
there are a lot of variations in countries in particular times and then we could get into some of the specifics if you want to. – [Osamah] You wanna just
give an example or two? – Okay. So in the United States there is narrative that people wanna come
to the United States because we are the most desirable
place to be in the world. The streets are paved with gold. You probably all recognize
variance of that rhetoric. Many of us are from immigrant roots in some way shape or another,
so it resonates this idea of a kind of idealized notion of especially European migration. So even this is where I
was kind of pushing back on being careful about the
use of the term refugee. Even people who are trying
to express solidarity with the idea that people
from Mexico or Central America might want to come to the United States. They end up invoking and reiterating this kind of mythology in the American political narrative. And this goes against actually
some of the more precise ways in which legal advocates can actually effectively protect people who do have a legitimate
right to claim asylum. So there’s a tension there. Everybody, even people on
not Steven Miller, right? Even the people who want
to advocate for responses that are humanitarian and challenging, the more draconian or authoritarian bents end up falling into the trap because we don’t actually have a more thorough understanding
that even at the same time that certain people
from Europe are welcome. Do we have the Chinese Exclusion Act and some other very repressive
aspects of American policy. – Thank you. Shana do you wanna jump in
there and discuss some of the, perhaps connecting to your own research, but then more broadly on media impacts and media shaping of this course? – Sure. So I think the media plays
a big role in two ways. One is, most people have
very little direct experience both with terrorism and with immigration. And so a lot of what they are
learning about those issues comes from information they get through the mass media. So the media has this role to play in both kind of telling people
what elites want them to know about these issues and shaping
their emotions around it. So some of my earlier work,
so as a somewhat aside, I’ve been looking at the role
of attitudes about terrorism and foreign policy and
immigration since like 2003 and someone in 2008 says like, why are you looking at
all this threat stuff? Isn’t this the era of hope and change? And I was like well, I
feel like this is a topic that will last me and in
fact, sadly for the society, good for my research, it has. But the mass media provides
this kind of space where again, people learn about things but
they also, they feel things. And I think they’re of
the fact that terrorism is for my own words,
terrorism is quite prominent in the news. It’s focused, it’s very
sensational when you see it and that often the people
who you hear most loudest, with loudest voices that
are calling for restrictions on immigration are the ones
that you hear in connection. And also, by the way, when
you hear about terrorism and when things are labeled terrorism, they’re much more likely to
have a perpetrator who’s Muslim. So all of these ways in
which the construction of what is terrorism, who are
the perpetrators of terrorism, who are the victims of terrorism, and then how that is
connected to public policy, it goes through who gets
covered in the media and how those messages are framed. – So in a way, this connects
to the film last night where one of things that was discussed was the 40 years of demonization
of Japanese in the US and for Muslims, Arabs, et cetera, there’s an even longer
kind of a century plus why didn’t somebody even
take it even further back and British, French empire. But this also Sefa, in your own research, you’re seeing a reaction that’s also more nationalist-based. So when you look at Lebanon and Turkey, it’s not so much a demonization of them as Muslims or Arabs, but as Syrians. And so do you want to
talk a little about that? And if there’s a role of the media or how much of this is
driven by another factor? – Yeah. I think different aspects
of Syrian identity play different roles
in different countries. For example, like, you know, in Turkey, ethnic identity, kind of
like Arab ethnic identity becomes the major cause of alienation or exclusion of refugees. For example, in Lebanon since there’s a shared Arab identity, not Arab but to sectarian
religious identity becomes a ground for exclusion. And for European countries, mainly the economic issues aside they’re seen as a kind of
potential burden on the economy but I think this relationship
between Muslim refugees and kind of like terror
becomes kind of like a ground to not to admit refugees or to kind of like present
them as a threat to society. Yes, like different aspects
of Syrian refugee identity, I think impacts their securitization in different ways in different countries. And there are many ironies like in states’ policies towards refugees. I think that’s not the original question but I think that’s worth mentioning here. For example, like from
Turkish case, in 2018, there was gonna be there would be the first presidential
elections in the country and before the elections
brought up this idea of granting citizenship to Syrian refugees and in Turkey, Turkey signed
the UNHCRs convention. The UN Convention on refugees but kind of like put a
restriction on the treaty and doesn’t accept refugees from the, like accept refugees from
the Middle Eastern countries, but does not recognize them as refugees under the convention. Only those who come
from European countries are recognized as
refugees in Turkish laws. And despite this, despite
the fact that Syrians are not even recognized as refugees, they have this temporary
protection status. The president was offering citizenship. That’s an irony. Those people don’t even
have a refugee status under international law
and now you’re coming and offering them full citizenship. And that was just because of the fact that there would be local
presidential elections and they don’t want to
create a new support base. 3.5 million Syrian refugees could vote for him in the elections and could make him win the elections. And that was the logic behind it. And in Lebanon, I think
that’s quite ironic. In Lebanon, in 2015, government
passed the legislation, kind of like allowing, still allowing different groups of
Syrians to come to Lebanon. Syrian businessmen, Syrian scholars, they can come in under different
visa statuses to Lebanon, but they restricted Syrian refugees. That’s the segmental Syrian population that is under dire need of help but they were kind of excluded
from those groups of Syrians who could answer Lebanon. Yeah, I think I can stop
here and then I can continue. – I wanna just jump in and feel free to whoever wants to answer because I think one of the aspects that may help confuse this are
the governing legal regimes, particularly here in the United States. So whether including
everything from visa status to what is your actual immigration status within the country? So I’m curious because it’s
not that well understood. How much do you think that plays into, especially when you hear
terms being thrown around like illegal immigrant versus
migrant versus visa card or green card holder. And I’m wondering if you want to take that or if you wanna– – Let me jump in with one example. I heard recently, I
thought this was fabulous. I heard recently somebody say, the best way to think about
people entering the country, excuse me, country
outside of formal borders and then being detained is to ask yourself whether you think anybody
who’s had a speeding ticket should be put in detention, because that’s the level
in the legal process of the infraction. The way in which the rhetoric describes it is you know, that these
are criminals and what not. Well, there’s actually a third part of the American legal system,
the immigration legal system is a separate, whole
separate legal system. It’s basically like the
equivalent of a misdemeanor or breaking administrative law. It’s definitely not part
of the criminal system. It’s not really part
of the standards civic or civil system either. And this is one of the reasons why migrants in detention don’t have the standard legal protections, right to lawyers and some of
these other kinds of things because this is a separate legal system. So people talk about a couple of things. Sometimes appeals will end
up in a seperate court system and that’s mostly what we see in terms of the legal challenges that make it into the news. The other thing that has
been in the news lately is calls that really what the system needs is more immigration court system judges. So that the cases can
be prosecuted quicker on their own grounds. In the United States, very few lawyers actually get training in immigration law. It is an optional course
in most law schools. There are very few law schools that actually have
sophisticated versions of it. You talk to some immigration
lawyer, legitimate ones and they basically
described a lot of people in the profession as like bottom feeders taking advantage of
really vulnerable people and not really offering
them quality, legal service. So there’s all sorts of problems in the American legal process. Let me just by comparison
also just tell you it’s possible to have
different legal systems. The Canadian system is
sometimes criticized for taking too long because
they allow too many appeals and then people end up appealing, appealing and appealing the appeal. And by then they have
settled in communities, they have married people,
have children or whatever and then they end up not gonna be deported because they can show
significant investment in the community and whatnot. So there are people in other contexts. In South Africa, they
designed a new constitution. The current one was actually
implemented in 1996. So a little lag from the first
universal suffrage elections. And at the time, they didn’t think of
immigration as a problem. They were responding
to the apartheid system and there’s a key feature in
the post apartheid constitution that guarantees a whole bunch of rights to anybody who is in South Africa. And that went through the
constitutional court system and it was reaffirmed that that meant regardless of citizenship status. But in terms of implementation, people are guaranteed right to education, right to healthcare, but in practice at the implementation level, there are a lot of hospitals and schools that will not accept children
into the school system and stuff like that. So you can still have
even legal protections at the national constitutional level and that doesn’t guarantee on the ground that people will be able
to exercise those rights. – Sure I mean, I think on the public side, there’s different attitudes toward people who are perceived to be economic migrants versus people who are refugees. And the support for refugees
while not very high, it’s higher than for support for people who are economic
migrants in the US. I’ve done work on… So I think there’s also misinformation about the kinds of programs
that people who are here undocumented have access to. So the public has a sense
that the undocumented people can get access to state
programs, which they are not. They cannot, but there is support
in those surveys I’ve done the American public for
what my coauthor and I call humanitarian policies, which is the purpose of these studies that we did was to make people
scared about immigration and even if you make them
scared about immigration on a variety of ways, we haven’t been able to dampen their support
for things like kids who are undocumented,
being able to go to schools and access the ER. So again, while the support
level is not very high for a undocumented people
getting access to services, people do have a sense that at least kids who are somewhat blameless in the system shouldn’t be kicked out of schools and shouldn’t have no
access to medical care because they are themselves undocumented. And again, support for
DACA I think as we put it in that same kind of category, which is, to the extent that people believe that kids who were brought here
and undocumented as children should have access to, if
not a passive citizenship, then at least some access to services and shouldn’t be deported. Support for DACA is pretty
high in the American public. – I wanna pick up on
those of these threads and also throw this out if you want to. As part of the family separation policy, we reached this ludicrous level where you have immigration attorneys who were actually representing clients at the pre verbal stage. And so, I mean, it almost
becomes a farce in the courtroom. And so I wanted to throw that
out as kind of another example of because to your point
in this also connects to Sefa’s research the worthy
versus unworthy refugees, how children are viewed and
yet we haven’t been able to come up or we as a
society or as a country been able to come up
with an effective manner of dealing with this issue. And I’m wondering if you wanna remark on does the only separation
’cause I want to transition into this kind of strategies
of resistance or opposition. Does the family separation
policy offer one opportunity for challenging or at least some kind of immigration force? So I’ll leave open to the panel and whoever wants to respond. Do you wanna start this, Sefa or Audie. – I’ll let you guys start. – So, I generally just study things that make people scared
or disgusted or angry. But one of my new projects is
looking at the role of empathy in immigration policy and
whether or not building empathy can actually, make people resistant and more supportive of immigration and whether or not empathy is an emotion that can counter fear. And so one of the things I think in talking about the role of lobbying, what the public wants as a kind of whole, matters only to the extent that you can put collective
action behind it. And one of the things that
lobbying is really good at is collective action and
actually, getting a strong signal about what industries want. And so the public while is
extraordinarily actually negative about family separation is very ambivalent about immigration as a whole. And so what you saw after
the family separation is collective action. You see protests, you
see very strong action and calling members of Congress and that can counter some of
the kind of more single voices, maybe in industry. But, I think until we get to that point where the public speaks in a single voice and can put pressure in the
same way as that lobbying does. I’ll also say that lobbyists give money because they already
agree with politicians and so it may be the case
that the Trump administration was already going to do
a lot of these things without the for-profit immigration, for-profit companies giving
him money to do that. I think this is ideologically
in his wheelhouse anyway, but I think one of the
strengths that the public has is to bring a lot of pressure. But until they know what
they want or don’t want, then it’s just kind of,
it’s just opinion on paper. – [Osamah] Would you wanna say something? – So this is where Shana and I disagree. I don’t think there is such a
thing as the American public in a homogeneous sort of way
and I think immigration policy and years and years of documenting what the so called strange bedfellows are that lead to certain types
of immigration policy in the United States is
a good example of this. There are really strong social groups within the United States that are based on ethnic communities, immigrant communities. Sometimes they’re affiliated
with other large organizations like the Catholic church which
has been hugely influential both at local and national levels. There’s a classic split
within the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, which is where the strange
bedfellows argument comes from. And why immigration reform
is always so difficult because it doesn’t fall
across party lines. So if the pro-immigrant sorta lobbying and social movements primarily have been through the Democratic Party, the other side on the Democratic Party has been the Union Movement, which is a classic
restrictionist policy, typically, unions in general with the
decline of manufacturing have also generally declined. So some of the anti immigrant momentum from that aspect of
politics has also weakened. There are a couple of like the
Service International Union that have become much more
stronger public activists on pro immigrant positions. On the more classic Republican side, you see a split between
who are the employers and typically, there was a division between employers who benefited
from immigrant laborer and those employers who did
not or weren’t reliant on it. That is also changing structurally. So the employers generally,
aside from the Trump businesses, which is leading to, you might’ve noticed in the last couple of days, an increase in the number
of temporary workers that can work in places
like the Trump businesses, but the main employers
generally at this point are like the large IT
companies, large universities, and those are the people who
are on the opposite side. They’re filing the amicus
briefs against the Muslim ban and all that kind of stuff. Trump and that faction
of the Republican Party can’t stand those interests. They’re not gonna come
around to those interests. They’re gonna be happy to play
the prison industrial complex and some of that kind of stuff. Prison industrial complex,
those of us in upstate New York or from Illinois, those tend to be located in relatively rural areas where there aren’t a lot of other jobs. Those are also people in general, including some of my extended family that are more likely to vote for the Trump side of the
political spectrum in general. These are self reinforcing. It’s not a complete shock,
some of these things. So I am very skeptical
that anybody’s sympathy, I agree that there is
an exceptional sympathy, especially for DACA but I don’t think that level of sympathy, especially because it is more likely
to be in urban areas and in blue states is gonna
do anything really substantial in terms of the political
compromises or deals. – I just wanted to jump in on your point because I think this is a good example. So this is, for those who don’t know, the Dilly Family Detention Center, which is the largest in the country and it’s actually located
in an area to Audie’s point, it’s very similar kind of
central upstate New York which was economically depressed until these centers started being built, private prisons and then federal prisons. And they started to employ
as we learned last night, prison guards who were from the area of Mexican-American descent. So they are actually, the prison guards are actually dealing with a population that is just the newest range
of immigrants to the country. The tape you heard comes from this center. And so there’s also this idea of kind of from what we heard last night that there’s real discrimination
towards a new migrants who come in by Mexican Americans and a lack of identification,
which is interesting. So I wanna turn that over
to Jan and get your– – I actually wanted to
add a second question in case Jan knows this. The prison industrial complex is not unique to the United States. So I’m wondering are these actually US? I mean these may be publicly traded on the US stock markets,
but are they actually transnational corporations or like what’s the financial mapping there? – Yeah, so a lot of great questions and I wanna focus on, I
wanna back up a little bit and try to just talk
about some of the stuff that I think it’s
important to get out today. So one thing that I’m learning today is that there’s different ways that political scientists
and moral philosopher might approach some of these questions. So I’m not particularly, I confess myself very interested in what Trump is thinking. I find myself, I’m not
particularly interested in what the, it’s not that
I’m not interested at all, but it’s not my central focus. I’m also not first and foremost interested in why voters, how voters can
be influenced by the media except in so far as it affects
policy, influences policy. I don’t think of voters as this entity to be set of individuals to be studied as if they’re this strange thing that we found in a petri dish. I think that voters are us and so, the question is not
what influences other people. The question is, what has it influenced What in fact, features of the world have influenced the current policies? Do we think the current policies are evil? And if we think they’re evil, what are we gonna do about them? So it may well be that the explanation for why the industry has
so strongly supported Trump who’s independently expressed support for the for-profit prison. So it’s not just that the industry has recognized a simpatico individual in someone who wants to pursue draconian immigration policies. They’ve also recognized
a simpatico individual who just thinks that
private prisons are great. He said this repeatedly on the campaign trail very explicitly, but setting aside whether
Trump really thinks that private prisons
are great and way better than publicly run prisons
which by the ways, go to the HCLU webpage, go to the Southern Poverty
Law Center webpage, you’ll see that they’re pursuing, both of the for-profit prisons in court on the grounds of grotesque
human rights violations. So the answer is these
prisons are much worse than publicly run prisons. Set aside the question about
whether Trump for some reason really believes that
private prisons are great and immigrants pouring
over southern border are being infiltrated by scary Muslims who are gonna come and blow everything up. Set aside whether he believes that. Set aside, I would
believe that maybe voters have been newly been convinced by that. The point is that we have the immigration, draconian immigration
policies that we have now because these companies have
made it much more likely that we’re gonna elect individuals who support these policies, whether they support them
independently or not. They’ve found these candidates
who support really draconian, inhumane, unjust immigration policies and they have made them
much more electable and they have influenced
the legislation process once they have gotten there with lots and lots and lots of money and it’s great business for them. Their profits are soaring. They’re making profits hand over fist and that’s a direct result of
these immigration policies. So that’s just caused and effect regardless of who knows
what Trump believes. That’s just cause and effect. So then the question is, now that we know what the effect is and what the cause is, what are we gonna do about it? I hope we can all agree in this room, speaking as again, as someone who works on moral
philosophy, these questions, a lot of questions that moral
philosophers are interested in are incredibly hard. Like for example, is it
ever morally permissible to intentionally take a human life? That’s a complicated one. And different moral theories
will come out differently on that question, but the whether or not for the sake of companies to
make profits so that we can, by keeping their parents in detention for a longer period of time,
it’s morally permissible to separate children from their parents, given what we know about
the lifelong trauma that we can expect those children
to experience as a result. Is that morally permissible? The answer clear for sound
the answer to that is no. There’s no plausible more theory on which that’s morally permissible. That’s just wrong. That’s just evil. So we know how we got here
and we know that it’s evil and the question is what
are we gonna do about it? Now, we can say things like,
well, people don’t like it, don’t like family separation. So if we focus more on that,
we can influence other people. We don’t have to sit around waiting to change
people’s hearts and minds. There’s something we can do right here at Syracuse University
if I can be permitted to go on for a bit. Syracuse University is one
of the only 90 colleges and universities in this country with an endowment of
over one billion dollars. So that is a chunk of change. And what Syracuse investors asked with the support of the Faculty
Senate, University Senate, the Graduate Student Organization and the Undergraduate Student Assembly have all passed resolutions. Speaking strongly with one voice, demanding that the
university publicly commit to divesting from these companies. And the university’s response at the May Board of Trustees
meetings from last year was a resounding no. And not only was it a no, they refuse to tell us why it was a no. So they have repeatedly refused
to commit to for-profit, publicly commit to
for-profit prison divestment, which would directly have the result of depriving the industry of
some of the money that it uses from investors in order
to expand this business. But the public commitment
also would indirectly strike a blow against these companies by saying to the world,
Syracuse Universities like Georgetown University, like the entire University
of California system, like Columbia University is
a moral leader in this world. And we just refused to contribute to the maintenance of this evil industry. We’ll not profit from it and we will not promote its maintenance and as a result of that,
we could like Columbia and Georgetown and
these other universities inspire other entities, not
just colleges and universities, but cities, counties and
states to do the same. – So I wanna expand that now ’cause I want to use that to bridge to the strategies and resistance. So divestment is one option. Divest from the private prison industry. I’m wondering if there
are other strategies that you can pick up on
from your own research or other examples that
could actually be used to influence, whether
at the political level, the policy level,
nongovernmental organizations. I can start with Shana
and then we can go around. – Sure. I’m gonna just back up a second to suggest that while I think divestment
is really important and I am not, you shouldn’t
take this as a plug for private prisons or my position. I would suggest that the cause and effect is not nearly as clear as
lobbying causes policy outcomes. And so that’s what I’m gonna
say for political science and we’re happy to talk about that. (laughing) So I actually think the problem is us and I think the problem is the public and partially it’s the government system but I think in terms of
strategies for resistance is really more about social movements and working on empathy
and working on the public, to put pressure on the system. But also that in ways that I think we, it’s very easy to make people
scared about immigration and make immigration seem like a problem. I think building up kind of
good feeling and the sense that immigration is a good is
the work that has to be done. – Yeah actually in relation to that, maybe I could say a couple of things. Like we tend to think
that political parties kind of proposing the
policies in isolation to what public demands in some cases. And I agree with the fact that like in our political party’s positions on the matters of migration
are kind of reflections of their understanding of
people’s demands and sentiments. And for example, like in most
of the European countries nowadays we see a rise of the
right wing political parties. I think, there are unaddressed
and unvoiced concerns of people about foreigners, about migrants in those
countries and political parties are just appealing to those
feelings and sentiments. I think that’s probably the same for (mumbles) countries as well. And in this case, I think the
main issue is kind of like, changing the perception of public towards migration and towards refugees and I think that requires kind of locking up public education
and educating the public about these matters and
really understanding this refugee experience
and how it’s a kind of like a military experience
rather than a political one and why wouldn’t really
relate to very deep, very kind of like significant
political issues immediately. I think that’s the needed kind of reform. – So I have two responses to the question, both of which were kind of
previewed in my opening comments. One is as a kind of
citizen with obligations, responsibilities as well as in this case, how to leverage my own
research in the classroom. So on the first one, I already said I had this kind of moment
out of body experience where I thought, well, and
I’ve thought about this for many years, what would I have done if I had actually been
born in South Africa and raised in South Africa? My family is from different
immigrant communities that came to the United States, but those are some of the very
same immigrant communities that ended up in South Africa or wherever. So there’s always that kind
of feeling of contingency. Not that I somehow belong here or own it. So one of the most aspiring organizations that I had learned about
during the apartheid years was called Black Sash and
it was an organization of sort of liberal White women
who would do silent protests in front of parliament
and stuff like that. And I always found that very inspiring ’cause I have this
Gandhian influence in me in terms of the value of public protest. What actually I have done
in the last two years, I mentioned this is give a
lot of money to organizations including the ACLU and SPLC. What other organizations that are the ones who are actually doing the lawsuits because I’m not actually
trained as a lawyer and I sometimes wonder
whether or not I should have, but at the time I was making
choices that wasn’t on my radar along with other career options. Then there’s this question,
what about my academic specialty and how do I leverage
that in the classroom? Because this is a very touchstone issue and we live in a
university and a community that has very diverse voices. I live in suburban Syracuse. I have some very conservative neighbors. I got into a fight at a
neighborhood party once with one of my very best friend, sort of family parent friends who’s a very conservative Catholic and started spewing out this anti Islam kind of like insanity stuff
and it was the only time any of my neighbors have
ever seen me lose it ’cause I try really hard to have a really balanced perspective. But then that kind of
translated back to me like, no, I actually need to leverage the things that I do know about and pull them into the classroom because I have students in my class who are feeling very vulnerable and my job is not to try to balance between the mega hat-wearing people, and the headscarf-wearing people. My obligation partly
because of the principles of this university is
to address these issues front and center. So I have pictures of
the confederate flag. We read about instead
of civil war in Syria, we read about civil war
in the United States in the mid 1800s. It’s a process. It’s a work in process. My one last comment back
to Jan is my other hat was doing lot of research on the sanctions against apartheid and I have some really strong views about the strengths and
serious limits to divestment. I firmly believe there
is a principled stand that I totally support about
not being associated with evil as you phrase it, but, I don’t think that that’s going to solve that problem. – So a couple of comments. One, I also have a background,
an activist background in the divestment movement,
which I think was very effective in getting western governments to pull their financial support for the White apartheid
regime in South Africa. Many of you may not know, but the companies that were
doing business in South Africa under apartheid were spending
massive amounts of money in the form of taxes
to support that regime. And it was precisely because
the divestment movement was so successful that so many companies pulled out of South Africa and that was a serious financial blow to the apartheid government. Did it lead to the fall
of apartheid by itself? No, of course not. The ANC and Nelson Mandela played the heavy lifting
role in that process. But depriving the White
South African government of the means to repress
the Black South Africans was an important, played
an important role in that. I wanna say, I am an activist but I don’t have a simplistic view. So my view is not of course
that the lobbying efforts of the for-profit prison industry, fully explained by themselves why we have the evil immigration policies that we currently have. I mention them because
they’re significant influence in the way that if you strike and match, the explanation for why the match lit is not of course just
that the match struck, but all the oxygen around it. But you might mention
the striking of the match as playing an important role in explaining why the match lit. So too often when you
give causal explanations, you focus on the surprise
or a dominant factor that is playing an important causal role. So it’s not that I think
that the for-profit lobbying by for-profit prisons gives
the complete explanation, causal explanation for why our current immigration
policy is the way that it is. Many of them have to deal with the things that were talked about today. Like, the impact that misleading rhetoric about national security threats
can prey on voters’ fears. But the explanation for why it is that those part of the explanation for why those politicians
could be successful, why they were able to
get their message out to the extent to which they were was because they had so much damn money and one of the reasons why
they had so much damn money is because there was a lot of money to be made by for-profit prisons precisely in the success of
those immigration policies. – Okay so I wanna turn it up to questions. We have question in the back. (mumbles) – [Male] Hi, so it was brought up twice and are there examples of
undocumented immigrants being denied emergency healthcare or access to public education? And if so, like can you explain? – I’m sure there are
examples someplace, right? But part of the Proposition
197 in California in the early 1990s, was
to take undocumented kids who were in public schools and then kick them out of schools, essentially to not give them
access to public schooling. This had a relatively strong effect in moving Latinos and liberal Whites into the Democratic Party in California but there are these kinds of propositions and there are private businesses. We get these stories in the
news about private businesses refusing to serve people who speak Spanish and those kinds of things which is not about documented status. So my work is looking at whether or not people support these kinds of policies and there’s not a ton of support for taking these kinds of policies, like education from kids
who are undocumented or denying healthcare too. But it is not the case that
people who are undocumented can get access to medicare
or Medicaid or food stamps and that’s kind of a myth that people have that undocumented
immigrants can get access to social welfare policies in most places. – Or even voting, right? So there’s, I think one of the
things you wanna think about is if there’s a number of myths
Professor Gadarian’s point that had been spread about what illegal “Illegal immigrants” can do, right? So those without documentation. That includes things like voting, includes access to medicare, Medicaid, food stamps is always a common one and these are played on, these fears and these kinds of myths and quite frankly racist notions that are played on to kind of demonize migrants. Bt yeah, there’s plenty
of examples out there of denials both at the emergency room including fear of going
to the emergency room because of in the past
few years ICE rates. Even going to immigration
appointments that are scheduled because you will be arrested or you’re the parent who’s driving you. So one of the issues for example with and this is, I’m kind of
abusing my role as chair. So tell me to be quiet if you want. But one of the issues for example
with the family separation is that some of the family
members that have been identified by some of these undocumented juveniles is so they have family
here in the United States, aunts, uncles, cousins, et cetera. They give that information
to customs officials. Some families had been
unwilling to come pick them up because they’re worried that
it’s going to be used as a trap to arrest them and then deport them. So there are a number of
different levels of this and I can, if you want
to see me afterwards or any one of us can point you
to a number of organizations that are documenting this very well. Anybody wants to add, feel free please. – [Male] Hello, I have two questions. One is about the connection between immigration refugee waves and how they’re seen as a
national security threat, I think it has a lot to do with how citizens of those
countries perceived their nation, how they imagine their nation. ‘Cause we can talk rationally all we want. We can say Turkey the Republic of Turkey took like four million refugees and compared to all continental Europe took like one million or
one and a half million. So many of Turkish people say Europeans are exaggerating it and whatnot, but the western nationalists will tell you we’re not thinking in terms
of 10 years, 20 years. We’re thinking in terms
of 100 years, 200 years. And we see the “Native fertility rates,” you can see all sides of this
in the so called manifesto, for example, of the
Christchurch attackers. To him it was, the defeat was already, he already see this as a defeat already. So an irrational voter model has been discount in neurosciences, literature that people vote emotionally. So I think we need to talk more about how we can create
functioning safe societies that are completely heterogeneous. I think people think that
academics and whatnot, experts are delaying
this debate by saying, this is not a problem. You guys are exaggerating this. Another thing I want to ask. So those far right nationalists, they see couple of countries as models. To this, I’m gonna ask
directly to Professor Klotz for example, you said apartheid
didn’t work in South Africa, but they had the
“Demographic disadvantage.” So the dominants were small. Now these far right if you
delve into their writings, they see Israel, they see China as models and they see that it is working. They’re not facing the trajectories that their native population
will be a minority compared to Europeans
and you know, in America. So yeah, I just want to
get your thoughts on that. – I’m not really clear
what your question is on that last point. – Can you clarify the question. I wanna commend you though
for attacking academics in your first question. I wanna thank you for that. (laughing) Way to work the room on this. – [Male] You’re quite familiar with that. So what can I say? I mean it’s just that just because it didn’t work in South Africa I mean that’s the impression I got. It’s not a given in many ways. – What I specifically
I’m trying to underscore, which may not have been as clear, is that the link between
having authoritarian style, militarized border and
domestic surveillance. South Africa makes
contemporary Trump policy look like amateur hour. If that level of resource with such disregard for
people’s life, let alone rights could not prevent migration flows, then no attempt by the
Trump administration can actually accomplish their role. But we also see a similar
dynamic historically. For instance, the nationality
quotas that were implemented in 1920 and 1924 had a
significant negative impact on migration flows from parts of the world where my family came from
eastern and southern Europe. There was already the Chinese
exclusion from the 1800s. But people snuck across
the Canadian border. We have a customs and border
patrol because in 1924, they were worried about
the Canadian border, not because of Mexico. So certain flows from Europe were cutoff, Asian flows were cut off, but there were plenty
of, especially Mexicans who are coming and going. So there was always some other dimension or aspect or avenue through which people will reach their
country of destination. Perhaps not in the same demographic flows, perhaps not in the same numbers as if those relatively draconian
policies hadn’t existed. But you can’t stop people from moving. They will find a way. – Anything you wanna add? – Maybe I can just regarding his first kind of like comment not question, but I think in general, maybe like if I’m not a psychologist,
but I think one could say that fear is a more effective sentiment than love and inclusion. I think when people are fearful, they can do anything and everything. And I think we see that state
immigration policies as well. Like for example, just the political, that will be a political example. Just think about the EU-Turkey deal. The relations between Turkey and EU were like totally frozen in 2014 and given the refugee crisis,
the relations were restored and the EU wanted to
strike a deal with Turkey, not because they really wanted Turkey to become a member of the EU. Apparently because they were like, millions of refugees
lining up in the borders and they didn’t want
to admit those refugees and they wanted Turkey to deal with those refugees
in the first place. I think, there has been
a great achievement in human history, like in
terms of forming liberal states and democratic states, but I
think this humanitarian crises, become important tasks for
those political systems and I think so far we have
not given a good test, I would say universally. And I think that’s still a challenge not for developed democratic
western countries, but also for the countries who are trying to emulate the western values. – And on that note, I wanna thank you ’cause that actually ties in
well with the broader themes. So, thanks everybody for
coming and have a good weekend. (applauding)

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