The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration

SEP 17, 2013 | 6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


9100: Skylight Room


September 17, 2013: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM





Reading with David Bacon for his new book The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration. The book offers a combination of Bacon’s geopolitical analysis and his reporting of migrants’ stories and experiences, in their own words, as Bacon examines how the decision for immigrants to leave their homelands is rarely a voluntary one. He deconstructs the forces; free-trade agreements, economic policies, poverty, environmental destruction; that over recent decades have only exacerbated and reinforced wealth disparity and social inequality, making it impossible for people to stay in their indigenous communities.

Yet, as he shows, after immigrants do uproot and resettle in the U.S., they face a new sort of marginalization: the steep criminalization of immigration in the U.S. that has only sharpened in recent years .He also examines how guest-worker programs, which are increasingly popular in the U.S., are structurally exploitative. As he explains the forces that drive migrants from Mexico and the conditions that constrict them where they resettle, Bacon presents reform-minded ideas with the goal of a world where migration isn’t forced, rather, a world where people are guaranteed the right to stay home.

Cosponsored by the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies, Lehman College.