Daniel Tichenor: Democracy's Shadow: The Political Development of America's Unauthorized Immigration Dilemma


Monday, October 17, 2016, 12:00pm to 1:45pm


Harvard Kennedy School: Allison Dining Room

Daniel TichenorPhilip H. Knight Professor of Social Science and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, University of Oregon.

During this toxic election season, undocumented immigrants have loomed large as scapegoats and villains in Donald Trump’s nativist campaign for the presidency (see Immigrants and Insecure Workers at the Miller Center's FirstYear2017.org). Meanwhile, immigration reform has gone nowhere for two decades, while millions of immigrant families live in the shadows or have been separated by our detention and deportation system. Our present discontents reflect long-term patterns in how U.S. political battle lines have formed on immigrant rights and admissions for more than a century.

Drawing on fresh archival research, oral histories, extensive in-depth interviews, historical newspaper databases, and other sources, Democracy’s Shadow is a research project that tackles the origins and development of unauthorized immigration as a modern American dilemma. It trains a spotlight on the dynamics of conflict, stalemate, and strange bedfellow politics in struggles for American immigration reform over time, yielding recurrent policy contradictions and pathologies. Through state-level fieldwork, this study also illuminates how immigrant inclusion and exclusion are shaped by distinctive state and local policy regimes. Finally, this study illuminates the political agency of unauthorized immigrants themselves, from Chinese newcomers of the Gilded Age to today’s DREAMer movement, who demonstrate the potential power of marginalized people.

About the speaker

Daniel J. Tichenor is the Philip H. Knight Chair of Political Science and Senior Scholar of the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.  

He has published extensively on immigration politics and policy, including Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control (Princeton), which won the American Political Science Association’s Gladys Kammerer Award for the best book on U.S. public policy, and The Politics of International Migration (Oxford). Other awards include APSA’s Jack Walker Prize, Mary Parker Follette Award, Emerging Scholar Award, Polity Prize, and numerous teaching awards.

He also has done extensive research on social movements, political parties, Congress, the Presidency, civil rights, and civil liberties. His most recent book is Rallying Force: Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics, with Sidney Milkis. He was named to the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows in 2015, and recently received an NEH award to study variations in immigrant inclusion and exclusion in U.S. states and localities over time. 

See also: Fall 2016