February 1, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Week on Immigrants | Debating Migration: The Labyrinth of Law and Public Imaginary, Feb. 5

The Wealth and Poverty theme presents the Ohio University Week on Immigrants, featuring Dr. Luis F.B. Plascencia on “Debating Migration: The Labyrinth of Law and Public Imaginary,” on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from noon to 1:20 p.m. in Alden 319.

Dr. Luis Plascencia, portrait outdoors in the Grand Cayon area

Dr. Luis Plascencia

Plascencia is currently an Instructor in the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture at Ohio University. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin and been affiliated with several universities and multiple public policy institutes. His single-author book Disenchanting Citizenship: Mexican Migrants and the Boundaries of Belonging (2012, Rutgers University Press), presents the experience of Mexican migrants in their pursuit of U.S. citizenship. A notable finding is that some migrants were disenchanted with their new status; they felt that their acquisition of citizenship did not change how the larger society viewed them—as second-class members. Book cover for Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona.More recently, he co-edited an historical-oriented anthology on the presence and role of Mexican workers in the economic development of Arizona—Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona (2018, The University of Arizona Press). In addition, he has published multiple journal articles, and book chapters. His research interests include the anthropology of law, human rights & social justice, the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, and labor trafficking. Plascencia has presented expert testimony to several international and national governing institutions.

Abstract: The current debate on migration to the U.S. is one that reflects the complex relationship between society and the construction of law. Much of the public debate within segments of society is one that takes place based on beliefs and assumptions about migration law, including its location within the U.S. juridical structure, the distinction between “legal” and “illegal” actions, the meaning of “amnesty,” and the intrinsic flexibility in how the state asserts law while simultaneously allowing its contravention. The presentation focuses on highlighting key elements in the structure of migration law and policy, and how actors assert their positions based on incomplete understanding of topics debated. The aim of the presentation is to examine fundamental elements in the debate.

This event is cosponsored by the Center for Law, Justice & Culture.

For more information on this talk or the Wealth and Poverty Week on Immigrants, please contact Dr. Yeong Kim at

Wealth and Poverty Week on Immigrants

About the Week on Immigrants

Immigration is a significant political issue across the world. An estimated 258 million people worldwide live in a country other than their country of birth. Nearly 50 million now live in the United States.

The Wealth and Poverty Week on Immigrants brings the Ohio University community together to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by global migration flows both here and abroad.

Wealth and Poverty theme logologo

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