Author Archives: Stephen Lee

About Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a professor at University of California, Irvine School of Law. His past scholarship has addressed how the law impacts immigrants in the workplace, the criminal justice system, the food industry, and our banking system; the legal, political, and empirical significance of deferred action programs; and how the law enables violence across the immigration system.

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 →