Speaker: Dr. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz
Loyola University Chicago
U.S. practices of mass deportation especially affect Mexican nationals, who have long comprised the single largest population of U.S. deportees. In 2017 alone, more than 200,000 Mexican citizens were removed or returned from the United States. Ostensibly in their homelands, deportees often arrive in Mexico only to discover that they have gone from noncitizens in the United States to “abandoned citizens” in Mexico who are denied recognition and support from the Mexican government. Left to fend for themselves, deportees in Mexico City have done just that: establishing community and shelter where new arrivals with nowhere else to go can find camaraderie, employment, and a safe place to sleep. Yet their mission is much broader than ensuring daily survival: as “Deportees United in Struggle,” they engage in political organizing to contest their deportation from the United States and their desertion in Mexico, challenging dominant narratives of criminalization and securitization along the way. This talk presents results from collaborative research with deportee rights advocates in Mexico City who struggle to support themselves and each other as they make claims to belonging and family unification on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Dr. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz is a sociocultural anthropologist with research and teaching interests in political economy, migration, Latinos/as in the U.S., race and class, applied anthropology, and urban ethnography. Her current research is with deportees’ rights organizers in Mexico City. Dr. Gomberg-Muñoz has also been an ethnographer and advocate in Chicago’s immigrant rights movement since 2006.
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