Doctoral Candidate at the Graduate School of North American Studies.
Screenwriting student at the German Academy of Film and Television
Humboldt Universität Berlin
Content Author for Engly – Englisch lernen für die Schule
Intern at the Goethe Institut Kolumbien, Bogotá
Freelance writer for tip Berlin, Berliner Zeitung
In the United States, the regulation of immigration is currently being devolved from the federal to the local level via policy programs and data sharing, while the nation-state continues to have the final say on who is allowed into the country, and under which conditions they may stay.
At the same time, a convergence of criminal and civil law has led to what legal scholars call "crimmigration", the increased criminalization of immigrants with and without papers. Due to its entanglement with the criminal justice system, “crimmigration” disproportionately affects poor communities of color, excavating fault lines of class, race, and legal status, among others. Like the criminal courts, immigration courts are facing immense backlogs.
Cities are under increasing pressure to "react" to this issue, with some choosing to aggressively reinforce federal immigration policing on the local level, and some positioning themselves against the trend by limiting the cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement.
Starting with the New York Immigrant Family Unity Program (NYIFUP) in 2013, a number of counties and municipalities have decided to fund legal defense programs for immigrants facing deportation. In the scope of my doctoral thesis, I would like to conduct a comparative case study to find out more about the origins, every day workings, and sustainability of these programs, and the way they might challenge conventional conceptions of citizenship.