By Carole Nagengast

In her “Afterword,” leading cultural anthropologist and human rights expert Carole Nagengast brings the book’s analyses full circle, by bringing into consideration the effects of U.S.-promoted international economic restructuring and regional integration on both migrant sending and receiving countries. Economic growth bought at the price of increasing inequality among rich and poor in both countries is at the base of both the push and the pull of unauthorized immigration today. Simultaneously, fear of non-citizens has been stoked by restrictionist rhetoric, likening immigration to a foreign invasion, as well as by the horror of 9/11 and the subsequent “Global War on Terror.” Against this background, Nagengast warns that the United States’ liberal tradition of individual freedoms may not be enough to protect foreigners from “the depredations of an oppressive state.” Rejecting militarized responses to both terrorism and unauthorized immigration, Nagengast suggests that there is a growing need for us, citizens and immigrants alike, to be vigilant and active, and she accordingly concludes by pointing out ten ways in which we can seek to protect migrant rights.

Critical Thinking

  1. Discuss potential forms and issues around which people in communities across the United States can organize in support of migrant rights.