Representing the immigrant social movements, political discourse, and immigration in the U.S. South

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28 Scopus citations


This article examines the ways that the figure of the immigrant is understood and mobilized in political discourses and social movements surrounding immigration in the South. Drawing on both immigrant-related movements and scholarly discussions of immigration to the South, it interrogates how different political movements and discourses envision and act upon "the Latino immigrant" in and across southern locales. To make sense of these different representations, the article offers a typology that focuses on discourses of (1) shared humanity in immigrants-rights organizations, (2) shared racial discrimination in black-brown coalitions, (3) shared class oppression in worker-justice movements, and (4) immigrant difference in anti-immigration legislation. Analyzing how each approach represents "the immigrant," the article reflects on the ways that these movements and discourses create sameness and difference between long-term residents and immigrants, and the implications of these relationships for a wider politics of immigrant inclusion across the U.S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-614
Number of pages19
JournalSoutheastern Geographer
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • American south
  • Immigrant rights
  • Immigration
  • Race
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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