Navigating Liminal Legalities Along Pathways To Citizenship: Immigrant Vulnerability and the Role of Mediating Institutions

39 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2016

See all articles by Sameer M. Ashar

Sameer M. Ashar

UCLA School of Law - UCLA School of Law

Edelina Burciaga

University of California, Irvine - Department of Sociology

Jennifer M. Chacón

University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Susan Bibler Coutin

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Alma Garza

University of California, Irvine - Department of Sociology

Stephen Lee

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: February 17, 2016

Abstract

In this report, we summarize the findings of research funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and conducted in Southern California over the course of eighteen months between January 2014 and September 2015. This time period coincided with the announcement of and subsequent legal challenges to the DACA and DAPA program – a period characterized by extreme legal uncertainty over the availability and scope of these “Executive Relief” programs. Drawing from 16 in-depth interviews with staff of 10 different immigrant serving organizations and 47 interviews with noncitizens in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, we captured the on-the-ground challenges facing noncitizens and community based organizations as the scope and availability of Executive Relief was debated. In our research, we focused on the hardships and barriers to incorporation imposed by liminal legal status, the challenges faced by organizations mediating between their constituents and the state in periods of legal uncertainty, and the ways that uncertainty has reshaped the social, political and legal environment in which immigrant-serving organizations and their constituents interact. Our research is ongoing, but here we offer our preliminary findings for some of our research questions.

Suggested Citation

Ashar, Sameer M. and Burciaga, Edelina and Chacón, Jennifer M. and Coutin, Susan Bibler and Garza, Alma and Lee, Stephen, Navigating Liminal Legalities Along Pathways To Citizenship: Immigrant Vulnerability and the Role of Mediating Institutions (February 17, 2016). UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-05; Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2733860. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733860

Sameer M. Ashar (Contact Author)

UCLA School of Law - UCLA School of Law ( email )

Edelina Burciaga

University of California, Irvine - Department of Sociology ( email )

2264 Social Sciences Plaza B
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

Jennifer M. Chacón

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
530-754-5700 (Phone)

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Susan Bibler Coutin

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Alma Garza

University of California, Irvine - Department of Sociology ( email )

2264 Social Sciences Plaza B
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

Stephen Lee

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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