Migration, Confinement, and the Problem of Mobility
Against the backdrop of globalization, where capital flows across borders more easily than people, we are living in increasingly walled-off societies. This year’s Center theme delves into those structures, ideas, and practices that divide individuals and communities in Long Island and our region, also societies and nations in the larger world. We’re developing programs and collaborations that explore how walls, borders, and other dividing lines are constructed, upheld, resisted, traversed, and dismantled, whether they separate nations or neighborhoods, the law-abiding from the unlawful, or those with means and privilege from those without.
We're especially addressing issues and policies related to this theme on Long Island and the greater New York region. By "migration,” we mean issues concerning immigration and migrants of various types, which can include the conditions of day laborers, agricultural workers, and victims of trafficking; debates and legal struggles over unaccompanied immigrant youth; detention and deportation practices; the presence of gangs; and xenophobic hate crime activity. By "confinement," we mean problems such as mass incarceration and hyper, militarized, and racially disproportionate policing practices , also ways that imprisonment has become a means for controlling the mentally ill. By the "problem of mobility" we mean, broadly, socioeconomic mobility: barriers ranging from housing costs and discrimination to educational and job obstacles that have precluded or corroded middle class status for growing numbers of Long Islanders and Americans.