Dulcinea Lara, Dana Greene, and Cynthia Bejarano



A Critical Analysis of Immigrant Advocacy Tropes: How Popular Discourse Weakens Solidarity and Prevents Broad, Sustainable Justice

Immigrant Advocacy Tropes (IATs), a phrase coined in this article, are catchy phrases used historically and contemporarily to support immigrant’s rights in the U.S. context. This article offers the critique that the popular discursive phrases, “They are not criminals” and “They do the jobs no one else will” are problematic for multiple reasons, the greatest being that the logics attendant to these tropes serve to fracture solidarities between marginalized populations who would benefit from joint efforts. The authors show how these tropes create friction between immigrants and laborers, prisoners, the unemployed (and others), rather than challenging the national status quo, which undervalues and punishes these populations systemically.

immigrant advocacy, crime and punishment, social movements, social justice, solidarity across difference, labor movements, prison, suspect-subject bodies, norm versus value-oriented social movements

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 36:2 (2009): 21-37


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