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The Diminished Citizenship of U.S.-Citizen Children of Undocumented Migrants: Philosophy of Immigration Series, Part III

April 10 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Birthright citizenship is a policy that entitles anyone born in the United States to automatic U.S. citizenship, regardless of the immigration status of their parents. In the debate about the merits and drawbacks of birthright citizenship, wide-ranging claims about the impacts of the policy have been made, but one assumption that both critics and defenders share is that the U.S.-born children of undocumented migrants benefit significantly from U.S. citizenship.

Professor Gallegos presents a caveat to this conclusion by showing that although the beneficiaries of birthright citizenship are formally included in political membership and have all the rights and protections that are afforded to them in accordance with the law, they don’t, in practice, obtain the full bundle of goods that accompanies citizenship for those who are born to U.S.-citizen parents. Gallegos argues that in virtue of their relations to their undocumented caregivers—relations that cannot be readily abandoned—the children of undocumented migrants experience a form of diminished citizenship. A conversation with Assistant Professor Matthew Lindauer (Philosophy, Brooklyn College) and the audience will follow.

Gallegos is an associate professor of philosophy at Texas State University. She teaches and researches in the areas of philosophy of emotions, moral psychology, and Latin American philosophy.

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April 10
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
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Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities
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