Dr. Chavez examines public discourse surrounding children of immigrants, DACA and so-called "anchor babies," exploring how media coverage justifies exclusionary public policies and attempts to redefine the meaning of citizenship. Efforts to repeal or change the 14th Amendment would remove birthright citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants, creating the unintended consequences of rendering this new category of U.S. born/non-citizens a possible caste in American society with increased vulnerability as "inside/outsiders" whose residence would not be subject to protections accorded to citizens. Analyzing DACA and the anchor baby rhetoric as part of stigmatizing speech, Chavez argues that highly inflammatory, often hyperbolic, anti-immigrant rhetoric can affect the mental health and sense of well-being of the targets of such stigmatizing speech.
About Dr. Leo Chavez:
Professor Chavez received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. In addition to scores of academic articles, he is the author of Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society (1st edition 1992; 3rd Edition, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning 2013), Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation (University of California Press 2001), and The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation (Stanford University Press, 1st edition 2008; 2nd edition 2013). His most recent book is Anchor Babies and the Challenge of Birthright Citizenship (Stanford University Press, 2017). Chavez received the Margaret Mead Award in 1993, the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists’ Book Award for The Latino Threat in 2009, and the Society for the Anthropology of North America’s award for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America in 2009.
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