Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Welcome Home: Benjamin Morris discusses immigration with Jana K. Lipman and Sarah Fouts

May 14th, 2019

This story originally appeared on Antenna Works in an article titled Welcome Home: Benjamin Morris discusses immigration with Jana K. Lipman and Sarah Fouts on May 13, 2019.

This past March, Associate Professor of History at Tulane University Jana Lipman and Sarah Fouts, Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at University of Maryland-Baltimore County and former Latin American Studies Ph.D. student, spoke with Benjamin Morris following the New Orleans/Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. The festival hosted a panel on immigration from historical and cultural perspectives, featuring scholars who have studied the topic from a variety of angles.

In the interview, Fouts cautions against generalizations that lump Latinx communities together when Latinx migrants come from a range of backgrounds, including Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Doing so ignores the nuance that exists as a part of these migration processes, “particularly why people are forced to leave their countries of origin and how people adapt to the places in which they settle.” Fouts also comments on her efforts to debunk misconceptions in the immigration debate, drawing on longstanding connections between New Orleans and Latin America.

Lipman commented on the cultural ties between Latin America and the United States, specifically the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba and the resultant changes in Cuban immigration policy. New Orleans’s economy has benefited from low wage workers for generations, notes Lipman. The hostility, racism, xenophobia, and discrimination Latinx immigrants face in urban areas such as New Orleans makes them particularly vulnerable for exploitation and deportation.

Read the entire interview and original article here.

Photo credit: Nola.com article ‘The docket is swollen’: New Orleans immigration cases pile up as shutdown continues

Cuba + People
Marilyn Miller
Associate Professor - Spanish & Portuguese
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