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Citizens Unite: How Some Groups Are Excluded in US

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BY KARA GUZMAN

In front of a crowd of 150 people at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History on Thursday, University of Oxford professor Bridget Anderson recalled an encounter she had with an U.S. immigration officer just a few days earlier.

In the customs line en route to Santa Cruz, the officer, a Latino man, asked her why she was visiting the U.S.

She told the man about her Santa Cruz talk on citizenship, and the ideas she would present: that citizenship creates a divisive “us and them” mentality, in which even people with legal status can be marginalized.

“And he was like, ‘You’re so right.’ He said, ‘I was born here. I’ve lived here all my life, and there are people now who, even though I’m legally a citizen, they don’t consider me a citizen. Because when push comes to shove, it’s your name and the color of your skin,’” Anderson said. “And I was like, wow. this is an immigration officer saying this? That’s really something.”

Anderson’s talk, titled “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Citizenship and the Politics of Exclusion,” was the first in a year-long speaker series on non-citizenship hosted by UCSC’s Chicano Latino Research Center and the Institute for Humanities Research.

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