Journal Issue:
Who Belongs? Immigrants, Refugees, Migrants and Actions Towards Justice Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis: Volume 7, Issue 1

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Finding Place in Displacement: Latinx Youth and Schooling Along the Borderlands
( 2018-03-09) Rubin, Daniel ; Kazanjian, Christopher ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

Global trends of international displacement are rising to historical levels, and in the United States, the Trump Administration has proactively initiated legislation to restrict immigration by displaced peoples and build a wall between the US and Mexico. This is a reality for Latinx youth living along the US/Mexican border in the current political climate, where not only do they battle inequitable educational opportunities, but also a heightened sense of racial discrimination and profiling. This paper argues that it is crucial for teachers along the US/Mexican borderland to implement a culturally relevant curriculum to help Latinx youth fight for social justice in these concerning times.

Immigration Policy Impasse as an Actor: A Matter of Concern for Educators
( 2018-03-09) Bass, Tobie ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

This qualitative, ethnographic research inquiry intends to prompt further conversation about how scholar-practitioners in the social sciences approach divisive topics such as immigration policy in teacher education. In the U.S. Southeast, practicing K-12 teachers and the researcher-instructor participated in a federally funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) professional development program through a public university. The professional development program’s goal was to advance teachers’ knowledge of working with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Although the school district where the study took place has a high population of immigrant students, statewide policies prohibiting immigrant students from higher education was new information for many teacher-participants. Empirical data includes responses from public school teachers learning about restrictive educational policies that affect immigrant students as well as the researcher-instructor’s auto-ethnographic inquiry as a teacher-activist-scholar. Drawing from actor-network theory (Latour, 2005), this work contributes to conceptual and empirical studies in the nexus of education and policy impacting immigrants in the U.S., with an attempt to better understand ideological gridlock.

Keywords: immigration policy, ESOL teachers, teacher professional development, actor-network theory

Letter from the Senior Editor
( 2018-03-08) Jones, Tyanez ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

Tyanez Jones is the Senior Editor of the Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis.

The weaponisation of language: English proficiency, citizenship and the politics of belonging in Australia
( 2018-03-09) Burke, Rachel ; Thapliyal, Nisha ; Baker, Sally ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

Calls for greater protection of national boundaries – both physical and ideological – and the politicising of immigration and citizenship are increasingly characteristic of the global geo-political landscape. Several signatory countries to the UNHCR refugee convention have sought to legislate higher levels of language proficiency for citizenship eligibility. Most recently, this has been attempted in Australia, reigniting controversy about the use of language testing to assess a potential citizen’s ‘worthiness’. In this paper, we identify contested conceptions of belonging and citizenship, manifested in mediatised debates around language proficiency and citizenship which emerged following the announcement of proposed changes to Australian citizenship rules. We use Graff’s (1981) concept of the ‘Literacy Myth’ to analyze associations between language proficiency and ‘morality’ evident in Australian media articles, to explore the underpinning discourses of these proposals, and to probe the relationship between citizenship, belonging and language. We argue that these myths work discursively to frame language proficiency as a proxy measure of the morality of prospective citizens and their willingness to ‘integrate’ or ‘assimilate’ into resettlement contexts. Relatedly, these myths can be deployed to justify the denial of the possibility of belonging to those who do not possess the linguistic capital privileged by policy and media elites.

Interview With Dr. Ginetta Candelario
( 2018-03-09) Candelario, Ginetta ; Hengesteg, Paul ; McKen, Alade ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

The Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis has traditionally published interviews with individuals who have strong connections to our special issue topics. We believe that interviews are important ways to contribute to the conversation surrounding critical issues in social justice. This interview features Dr. Ginetta Candelario, whose recent visit to Iowa State University offered the opportunity for the editorial team to discuss her research and interests in Latinx Studies.