Immigration and the US Presidential Election 2020

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from: 15:00
to: 16:30

The socio-political landscape in the United States a few weeks ahead of the November election, is nothing other than chaotic. Demonstrations in the context of the series of murders involving African American men and women by police; the legitimization of the actions of the evangelical right and white supremacist groups by the White House; the virtual dismantling of the asylum system, the separation of families and the indefinite closure of borders; terrifying reports of forced disappearances carried out by national security agencies against protesters, and the potential for a constitutional crisis should the US president decides not to accept the outcome of the election, have further polarised an already divided nation. To this one must add the fact that the US simultaneously holds the dubious honour of having the highest number of deaths worldwide in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the challenges faced by the American people in anticipation of the election have been vastly communicated to European audiences, they often lack complexity. Their message has often been carried out at the expense of making invisible other critically important realities afflicting US communities. A rather simplistic coverage on race relations, for example, has reduced the struggle for racial justice to a black vs. white debate, making the long-standing challenges and responses of marginalised but politically active communities across the United States invisible. The historical struggles of Native, border and immigrant communities have been also brushed aside, despite their essential role at mobilising voters ahead of the elections.

This webinar brings to the forefront some of these overlooked perspectives and scenarios. Our speakers, drawing from their long engagement within these communities as both observers and members, will provide insights into how migrant communities have organized and responded towards police brutality, immigration enforcement and surveillance controls; historically contextualise the struggles of Native American communities on the US-Mexico border to mobilize politically and defend their land in the context of immigration control; and examine the ways in which election coverage has often privileged the coverage of some US regions and dynamics over others.