Author Archives: Sameer Ashar

About Sameer Ashar

Sameer Ashar is clinical professor of law and associate dean for Equity Initiatives at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He writes about law, lawyering, and social movements across multiple subject areas, including labor law, immigration law, and the legal profession.

Shapeshifting Displacement: Notions of Membership and Deservingness Forged by Illegalized Residents

Abstract: This paper considers how accounts produced by illegalized residents in the United States shapeshift US immigration enforcement regimes by defining narrators and their communities as “belonging.” Anthropologist Aimee Cox develops the notion of “shapeshifting” to refer to how groups that are deemed “social problems” redefine the institutions within which they are embedded. The illegalized residents interviewed for this paper redefined US immigration law and policy as arbitrary, racially biased, and exploitative, even as they argued that they deserved status in the United States. Such Continue reading → Continue reading →