“Nationalism” and “Immigration” Key Topics in College Speaker Series

This semester, Scripps College’s Humanities Institute’s semesterly speaker series, titled “Exclusive Nationalisms: Global Migration and Immigration,” invites various speakers to purportedly answer the question of “How does global migration and immigration feed into exclusive nationalist narratives?”

Despite the plurality in its title, according to its description, the speaker series focuses on one type of nationalism: xenophobic, white nationalism. It asserts that “anti-immigration rhetoric and nativist policies are in full-throated advance in Europe and the United States,” focusing on how “immigrants are often characterized as civilizational threats to Western democracies by white nationalists.” The description also adds that white nationalists “have ascended to power in the United States,” limiting immigration in the US.

In this series about “nationalisms,” there have been nine events so far, and the College has four more planned over the course of the next couple months. These events are on a wide range of topics, with each event and speaker focusing on a different subject. However, all of these events are intended to connect back to the main theme of how nationalism negatively affects immigration.

One event, titled “Understanding Refugee Resettlement and Integration in Pomona Valley”—open to only students—described how refugees are resettled and how they are able to receive help through social services and volunteer aid. Another event, “Tuesday Noon: Inside the Immigrant Defenders Law Center,” criticized how the U.S. legal system allegedly mistreats immigrants facing deportation and how narratives about immigrants affect their chances during trials.

One notable event was “Human Rights in the Era of Trump”, presented by Margaret Huang this Wednesday. Huang, the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, presented on migrant rights and issues she sees in current day immigration policy, focusing on the impact of “the rise of nationalist rhetoric” in the United States.

The event with the highest projected attendance, a talk from #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Opal Tometi, will take place tonight, and will focus on “racial justice” and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The Independent will provide additional coverage of this event. It is unclear how #BlackLivesMatter is related to nationalism.

This series has an additional four events hosting speakers familiar with the topic of nationalism, with the last landing on May 3rd.

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