Return to HDC Program

Session 2: 1:00 pm-2:30pm


Moderated by Jimena Holguin, Assistant Director, International Summer Service Learning Program- Latin America


Raimy Khalife-Hamdan, University of Oregon
Uneven Citizenship: Post-September 11th Immigration Enforcement and Separation of Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim Families

The shocking September 11th terrorist attacks prompted an immediate and drastic response from the U.S. government. More than 1,200 Middle Eastern, Arab, or Muslim noncitizen adults were immediately detained and deported within two months. What were the social effects on their U.S. citizen children? And what do these impacts reveal about the unevenness of U.S. citizenship? Drawing from anthropological research on Latinx family separation in the U.S., this research examines the harmful impacts on children’s physiological, developmental, and psychological health associated with family disruption and speculates about the fallout of family separation immediately following 9/11. These U.S. citizen children, now adults, were active agents within their transforming family structures while also being subject to the racialization and criminalization inherent in the violent mechanisms of immigration enforcement. Since citizen children of mixed status families are implicated and indirectly punished for their families’ precarious legal statuses, citizenship is not a determinative assurance of protection, but one mediator of experience along with other social factors and identities. Most importantly, the harmful impacts of family separation on both citizen and non-citizen children alike suggest the need for the U.S. government to adopt more humane immigration enforcement practices and valorize family units as well as all children’s health, development, and wellbeing.

Sarah Galbenski, University of Notre Dame
The Pinochet Case: A Catalyst of Transitional Justice Processes in Chile and Spain

For my Honors Spanish thesis, I am investigating the processes of transitional justice and the politics of memory in both Spain and Chile through a comparative lens. When Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was indicted by Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón in 1998 on charges of forced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial killings, the Pinochet case served as a catalyst for the processes of transitional justice in both Spain and Chile. In Spain, it effectively broke the country’s “pact of forgetting” and forced Spaniards to reckon with their own dictatorial past. In Chile, it allowed the country to shift from the construction of a negative peace to the establishment of a positive peace through a more expansive notion of the political rhetoric “to the extent possible.” I trace the politics of memory in Spain from the formation of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory and the Law of Historical Memory of 2007 to the present-day movement to transform the Valley of the Fallen into a museum of memory. In parallel, I follow the Chilean context from the National Roundtable and the construction of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights to the 2020 Chilean National Plebiscite resulting in the promise of a constituent assembly in 2021 and a fundamentally democratic constitution in 2022. Ultimately, I argue that the catalytic Pinochet case led to the creation of Spanish and Chilean societies that are more structurally just due to the codification of historical memory in both their governing documents and educative spaces.

Daniel Krugman, Middlebury College
Survival as Solidarity: Refugee Exchange, Humanitarian Violence, and Social Cohesion in Mirieyi Settlement, Northern Uganda

The South Sudanese refugees of Mireiyi Settlement in Adjumani, Uganda, are facing a subsistence crisis at the hands of development actors, world systems, and the Government of Uganda. Operating with less than 40% of the needed budget to handle the South Sudanese crisis, the UNHCR and their partners have been cutting material aid to settlements in Adjumani District that have been home to over 200,000 force migrants since early 2014. Justified by the Government of Uganda’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, in which refugees are supposed to obtain self-reliance through freedom of movement, job market access, and government-allocated agricultural plots, aid actors have reduced food, other material aid, and development projects to settlements they claim have achieved “self-reliance". Because of ethnic discrimination, language barriers, gender, and lack of jobs, significant structural hurdles hinder this self-reliance in the everyday lives of refugees on Mirieyi. In this bind of reducing humanitarian aid rations and unable to form substantial self-reliance, how do South Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda survive? Over four weeks in November 2019, the author became a part of the daily lives of the refugees of Mirieyi Settlement. Through ethnographic research methods such as participant observation and interviews with 52 refugees, how refugees utilize, negotiate, and exchange in an “informal” economy was recorded and analyzed. Focusing on the everyday experiences and strategies of refugees at the edge of hunger, this project shows how creating subsistence in extremely marginalized situations not only functions through moral economies of solidarity but also shows the possibilities of abolishing the “refugee” paradigm in favor of supported localized movement and integration.