Who Belongs? | 1 of 4 | Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities || Radcliffe Institute

Who Belongs? | 1 of 4 | Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities || Radcliffe Institute


– Good morning, everyone. And welcome to the Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study. Good morning. Can I hear back from you? Great. I’m Liz Cohen. I’m Dean of the Institute. And I’m so pleased you’ve
joined us for our annual gender conference. Here at Radcliffe, we foster
pathbreaking, interdisciplinary inquiry into complex
issues like the one we will deal with today. We do this by convening
and supporting leading scholars,
practitioners, scientists, and artists from across
Harvard and around the world. And we are committed to sharing
their work with broad audiences through events like today’s, and
many more throughout the year. Today, in addition
to this conference, we have an exhibition by
renowned visual artist and a current Radcliffe
Fellow, Bouchra Khalili, on view at our
Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery. Bouchra’s installation titled
Foreign Office examines Algiers between 1962 and
1972 when the city was a hub of revolutionary
liberation movements. The exhibition will be open
through Saturday, April 21, but I’m hoping that some of
you will take the opportunity over the course of today,
perhaps during the lunch break, to go and see the exhibition. It’s in Byerly Hall, which is
two buildings down on the left after you exit Knafel. Bouchra’s exhibition
and today’s conference are all part of our
programming this year and next around the
theme of citizenship. We have one more event
planned in a few weeks around this theme. It’s an evening that is entitled
Red Sox Nation: Exploring Sports and Citizenship. It will take place on Friday,
April 27 at 7:00 in this room. And I think it should be a
fascinating and fun discussion with speakers from the
Red Sox, as well as WBUR. We will conclude this academic
year’s public programming with Radcliffe Day,
an annual event where we present the Radcliffe
Medal to an individual who has had a transformative
impact on our society. This year on Friday,
May 25, we will honor Hillary Rodham Clinton. The day will open with a
panel discussion on the US in the world today, moderated
by Professor Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School,
with foreign policy experts David Ignatius,
Meghan O’Sullivan, Anne-Marie Slaughter,
and Michele Flournoy. Former Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright, who herself received the
Radcliffe Medal in 2001, will then offer a personal
tribute to Clinton in the second half
of the program. After that, Massachusetts
Attorney General Maura Healey will engage Clinton in a
wide-ranging conversation. Now we are already at
capacity for Radcliffe Day. But I hope if you are not
included in that number that you will join us
virtually by tuning in to the live webcast that will be
available through our website. And we really do
hope many people will enjoy the day with us. For more information, please
take one of our Radcliffe Day postcards. There are some in
the back of this room and down on the
registration desk. Now before I introduce
today’s topic, I’d like to extend my gratitude
to the many people, speakers and organizers, who’ve
made this day possible. We began last night with
a fabulous opening event, Show and Tell: An
Evening About Citizenship with Documentary Filmmakers. And so I want to include
them in my thanks, and also mention all the
people behind the scenes whose hard work made today possible. And that includes
Becky Wasserman, who’s the Executive Director
of Academic Ventures, Jessica Viklund, Radcliffe’s
Director of Events, and their outstanding teams. So let’s give them
a round of applause. [APPLAUSE] Thanks also to
Dan Carpenter, who chaired the faculty organizing
committee for the conference, as well as the committee
members, Professor Sarah Bleich, Melani Cammett, Jane
Kamensky, Michele Lamont, and Mark Tushnet. Finally, I’m grateful to
the Institute’s supporters, many of whom are
here with us today. Your generosity ensures that
we can continue to host events like this one, and that we
can make them free and open to the public. Citizenship is one of
the defining and dividing issues of our time,
and it means far more than formal membership
in a nation state or the possession of a passport. Citizenship informs
participation in the social,
economic, cultural, and political
activities of a nation, and it is a critical
component of belonging. With more than 65 million people
displaced from their homes and with nationalism on the
rise in many parts of the world, citizenship has taken
on even greater salience in our current moment. That said, some might ask,
but why devote a conference to citizenship and gender? Radcliffe’s thematic initiative,
exploring citizenship, is timed in part to anticipate
the centennial of National Women’s Suffrage in
2020, since we thought it was important to embed that
milestone within the larger context of citizenship rights. But even if at least
some American women have enjoyed full political
franchise for almost a century, the link between
gender and rights and the rights and
obligations of citizenship is hardly a settled issue. Still today, gender has
an important bearing on many aspects of citizenship
and belonging around the world. Some of the most fundamental
citizenship rights continue to be negotiated
and redrawn along gender lines with real
impact on real people. Many of us are aware of the
very limited political voting rights afforded women in
countries like Saudi Arabia, but it is notable that even in a
wealthy, institutionally strong democracy like
Switzerland, women only gained the right to vote
in federal elections as recently as 1971. And it wasn’t until 1990 that
Switzerland’s highest court ordered the last holdout
canton to stop barring women from voting on local issues. Beyond voting rights,
women around the world are far more likely than men
to earn their livelihoods in domestic work, often
as migrant laborers, and often without the benefit
of legal and social protections. Moreover, according to the
United Nations, only about half of married women worldwide can
freely make personal decisions about their health
care, sexual relations, and contraceptive use. Even here in the United States,
certain basic legal rights still reflect gender inequality
and traditional gender norms. Not even a year ago,
the US Supreme Court struck down sections of the
Immigration and Nationality Act under which unmarried American
mothers and fathers living abroad had to meet
different standards in order for their children to acquire
US citizenship at birth. Under the old law,
in certain instances, a US citizen mother could
transmit citizenship to her child, while a father
in the exact same situation could not, and vice versa. In a nearly unanimous decision– those are rare– the
Supreme Court ruled that these disparate
requirements violated the Fifth Amendment’s
Equal Protection Clause. The court urged Congress
to remedy the issue, and in the interim, the
residency requirement that had previously
applied to fathers would apply to all parents. Writing for the Court,
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the differentiation
between fathers and mothers “stunningly anachronistic.” And she argued that it
reflected– and I quote her– “two once habitual but now
untenable assumptions.” One assumption
was that a husband is the principal
figure in a household, in charge of wife and children. The second and related
notion was that outside of a marriage–
and I quote her– “an unwed mother is the
natural and sole guardian.” These stereotypes lead
to an intricate system of gender differentiated
regulations that played a critical role in
US citizenship and nationality law until 2017. I will share just one more brief
illustration of the interplay between gender and citizenship. As all of us have
experienced in our lives, we frequently need personal
identification documents, whether for employment,
for school enrollment, for health care, for housing. These IDs typically
indicate our gender, and herein lies the problem. For many transgender
people across this country, the process of
updating and using IDs can be fraught with challenges. Potential difficulties
include denied access to public
and private services and the risk of verbal
harassment or even physical violence. And in states with
voter ID laws, the lack of usable
identification could deprive citizens
of their basic right to participate in our democracy. According to research by the
National Center for Transgender Equality, as of 2015,
68% of transgender people lack even one form of ID
with their preferred name and gender. Only 11% had their
preferred name and gender on all of their IDs. And correcting this is not just
a simple matter of heading down to the motor vehicle registry. In February, the American
Civil Liberties Union filed suit, challenging
an Alabama law that requires transgender
people to show proof of gender-confirming surgery
before the state would issue a driver’s license
that reflects their identity. Eight other states have similar
rules, according to the ACLU. Not all transgender
people want or can afford this type of surgery. But more broadly, the ACLU
contends that a medical procedure cannot be a
prerequisite for acquiring a government-issued ID. To complicate matters
further, Alabama is one of 34 states in the
country that either requires or requests voters to show
acceptable identification at the polls. This creates a very real risk
that transgendered individuals who present incongruent IDs will
be denied their voting rights. So I hope these
examples illustrate that gender continues to
intersect with citizenship in very tangible ways. Before us today is a totally
complex, multifaceted topic, so I am delighted that we have
such a distinguished lineup of speakers to help deepen our
understanding of the issues at hand, and to suggest, I hope,
some productive ways forward. So thank you all for
being here today. And I hope at the
end of the afternoon when the conference
is over that you will join us for a reception
next door in Fay House. It is now my great pleasure
to introduce EJ Dionne, who will moderate our first panel. EJ is a distinguished
journalist and author, a political commentator
whom you may recognize– certainly will recognize
his voice from NPR and PBS– and an op ed columnist
for The Washington Post. Here at Harvard, EJ has been
the 2017-18 Bloomberg Visiting Professor with appointments
in the Divinity School, the Faculty of
Arts and Sciences, and the Kennedy School. He is also a senior fellow
in governance studies at the Brookings
Institution and a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt
School of Public Policy. I also should add that EJ is
a good friend of the Radcliffe Institute. Please join me in welcoming
EJ and our first panel to the stage. [APPLAUSE] – Thank you, Liz. I appreciated that comment
on voice and not face. There’s an old line
that he was born with a face made for radio. [LAUGHTER] Thank you. Thank you very much. I can’t tell you what an
honor it is to be here, and particularly to honor Liz
and her extraordinary work here. That is one of the
central reasons I am here. And I think that the
nature of this panel and this whole conversation
speaks to Liz’s commitment to gender justice in
the context of a broader commitment to social
and political equality, and to democratic values. Liz is a democratic and
egalitarian feminist, and I think so many
of us appreciate that. I also, as a
lifelong Red Sox fan, want to salute her for
this forthcoming panel. In my lifetime, the
Red Sox are proof that it is possible to rise
from the bottom to the top, and that’s from
oppression to victory, which is the whole purpose
of the Radcliffe Institute. So thank you. Thank you very much. I’ve got to say, I
also love the hashtag for this event, #radwhobelongs. You can read that
in so many ways. I am honored also to be part
of this discussion with three brilliant thinkers. I’m just going to right off
the top introduce them briefly. There are more detailed
bios in your programs that do them justice. I’ll introduce them in the
order in which I understand everybody is going to speak. Kari Hong. First, she is an
Assistant Professor of Law at Boston
College Law School. Martha Jones, the Society
of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of
History at Johns Hopkins University. And Tali Mendelberg, John
Work Garrett Professor of Politics and Director of
the Program on Inequality at the Mamdouha S. Bobst– how’d I do– Center for Peace and Justice
at Princeton University. The topic for this
panel is rights, duties, and responsibilities. And I’m going to keep my
opening remarks very brief. I think it’s
entirely appropriate to begin a panel on citizenship
with a discussion of rights and duties and
responsibilities, because these are at the core of
what it means to be a citizen in a liberal
democratic society. As citizens, we’re
granted certain freedoms, but we also face
expectations about how we are to engage with each other
and with our political system. The first words in
the US constitution– I love to do this. What is the first word of the
Constitution of the United States? – We. – Yes. And we don’t say we enough
anymore in this country. The first words are
“We the people.” And they convey something
very important of who we think of ourselves. They speak of the
obligations we have to each other and our nation. Democracy fails when
citizens don’t exercise their duties and
responsibilities, including voting and organizing. And if I may say
so, this is a year when I think it’s
especially important to think about our duties to
engage in those activities. I want to raise at the
start the importance of thinking about rights,
duties, and responsibilities through many analytical lenses. And I think the wonderful
thing about this panel is that’s exactly what
they will do today. Our focus is on
gender, but I think we also want to keep in mind
the dynamics of citizenship and of gendered
citizenship, and how they are affected
by race, class, immigration status,
and a variety of other social factors. Class is a framework that
in many prosperous parts of our society can be
uncomfortable approaching. And yet it is clear that
socioeconomic status and growing income
inequality are powerful forces shaping the
contours of American society and politics. Class dynamics often interact
with gender dynamics. The persistent gender
wage gap, for example, means that many women find
themselves more economically vulnerable than
their male peers, and are thus barred from
fully equal participation, not only because of
lingering sexism, but also because of
the hidden and not so hidden injuries of class. I would note the teachers
strike in Oklahoma as an example of this. And it’s worth
noting that about 75% of the people in that
underpaid profession are women. In the conversation this
morning, our panelists will help us think
through what you could call an intersectional analysis
that brings in race, class, and other social determinants
to give us a fuller understanding of what you might
call compounding privileges, and also compounding lack
of privilege that influence political access and power. Martha Jones will speak from
a historical perspective about race, gender, and
birthright citizenship. Kari will provide an
overview of the asylum process and its problems and
discuss some possible reforms, focusing in particular on
the value asylum seekers bring to our nation. And finally, Tali
Mendelberg will present her fascinating
research about gender dynamics in public speech and
group decision making, and its implications
for civic engagement. I just want to tell
one story, and then I will go on to the panel. This and the last year, my
son was doing some organizing at Connecticut. And he was doing
the door knocking. He was trying to organize
anti-Trump feeling into political action. By the end, he was
doing door knocking. He was knocking on
doors a couple– a weekend before the election. Knocked on a gentleman’s door. Happened to be African
American, and I think that’s important to his
appreciation for the rights of citizenship, as we’ll see. At one point in the
conversation my son asks him, are you going to be
voting on Tuesday? And the man looked at my
son very seriously and said, it’s our job. And in many ways,
I think this panel is about our job as
citizens, men and women committed to equality
and democracy. So I’m honored to
be here, honored to introduce this discussion. After the panelists
speak, I will ask some initial questions, and
I will open it up very quickly to this distinguished audience. And with that, I bring on Kari. Bless you all for
being here today. Thank you so much. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] – I just realized I never
tested the PowerPoint. Is it set? – Things here operate perfectly. – All right. OK. Wonderful. Well, thank you all
for inviting me here. Thank you all for being here. It’s just been an incredible– it’s an incredible honor to be
with this grouping of people and have this
conversation today. Now as an immigration professor
and as an immigration lawyer, being relevant in the past
year has been very much a mixed blessing. After working with immigrant
clients for over 20 years, I have found that ICE raids
and the current anti-immigrant rhetoric to be nothing
short of an extended viewing of the scene in Star Wars
III where the Army of Clones turned against the Jedi and
killed them all off one by one. I should say as a mother
of small children, my current literary
references are limited to Star Wars
movies, and PAW Patrol. [LAUGHTER] But that said, I
do run optimistic. With that hope in place, I
wish to discuss asylum law as the means by which people
acquire new citizenship, but also contribute
to our existing citizenship in this country. And I’ll be focusing on what is
wrong with our current policies and looking for the future,
what can make it better? Now since Trump’s
election, asylum has been a part of his
transformation of immigration law. In his first week
of office, everyone knows that one of his
first executive orders was the travel ban. But in the same week, he also
issued two other executive orders relating to his
wider immigration crackdown. Starting in that first
week and continuing until the very
present, Trump has been attacking the procedural
protections asylum seekers have and the character of
those who seek asylum. Trump has been
remarkable, and I actually agree he is a
genius in realizing that rhetoric and
optics are as if not more powerful than the
actual policy changes. He has been effective in framing
asylum seekers and refugees as terrorists,
burdens, and frauds. Just this past week,
Trump announced his plans to use the military force
to stop what he called– which is false– an impending
invasion of asylum seekers who are barbarians,
ready to kill and rape Americans at will. But quietly, Attorney
General Sessions is making dramatic
policy changes. He is making it more
difficult for those fleeing from Central America
to qualify for asylum. And just this week, he
announced a new policy to penalize
immigration judges who do not close 700
cases each year, a policy that privileges speed
over due process and fairness. Now Trump is also using
other administrative remedies to interfere with
substantive rights. He’s seeking to expand something
called expedited removal, the authority by which one
immigration officer has the power to deport
someone without a hearing and without an appeal. He is using detention
to weaponize misery, to encourage people to give
up actual asylum claims and deter others whose
lives are in danger not to come to
the United States. The most shocking example
of weaponizing detention is the separation of 53
children from their parents when their parents presented
themselves at the border asking for asylum. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit
to end this practice. The Washington Post has
called this “gratuitous malice towards children.” But the Department
of Homeland Security defends this, saying it’s
simply protecting children from human traffickers,
a patently false claim. Now all of these practices
are worthy of alarm, and they’re worthy of criticism. But I want to highlight that the
Trump administration is doing nothing new than how prior
administrations, including and especially the Obama
administration, has done. Even the most shocking
example of separating mothers from their children
is only different in degree, not in kind,
from the past 20 years. So before continuing,
I wish to start with definitions of procedural
overview of the asylum process. Refugees are people who are
outside the United States and ask either the United
Nations or an embassy for protection from harm. There is an extensive
two-year vetting process before they are admitted
into the country. When they arrive,
they are partnered with religious or
community-based groups that assist in their resettlement. Since 1980, over
three million refugees have been resettled
in our country, and not a single one has
committed an act of terrorism. Asylum, by contrast,
is protection for people who are living
in the United States. This is available to those who
are fleeing persecution, which is legally defined as a
likelihood of harm or death arising from political opinion,
religion, nationality, race, or particular social group. This applies to those
who arrive and have asked at the border for
protection, but also this is available for people who
are in the United States on student visas, on tourist
visas if conditions change. Either a coup happens
in their home country or a personal
religious conversion occurs so that they
are now in danger. They can then apply
for asylum, even though when they
left their country, they were not in
danger at that time. Now it’s important to remember
that the actual number of asylum seekers and
refugees is relatively small. In 2017, 120,000
refugees were admitted into the United States. 37,000 asylees or asylum
seekers were admitted. Asylum seekers were
3% of all immigrants who received any form of legal
status in the United States. Combined, refugees and asylum
seekers are 13% of all those who receive legal status. So these are very small
numbers, so it’s puzzling to me why the systematic
campaign against them has been occurring. So with my remaining time, I
wish to highlight two points. One, identify specific
ways that the laws have failed and attacked asylum
seekers for the past 20 years, and then second, identify
important reforms to pursue both now and later once the
political power shifts away from the Trump administration. First starting in 1995,
the Clinton administration took away the
automatic work permit for those who were
seeking asylum. This was justified as a
way to end asylum fraud, but the instances of fraud
have never been substantiated. Second, President
Clinton also favored administrative
efficiency over accuracy. He imposed a one-year
deadline by which people had to apply for asylum. At the time, the United Nations
criticized the United States for adopting this
rule, but we’ve had it for 20 years and counting. For people then
who were otherwise shown to face a likelihood
of harm or death in their home country,
they are barred from getting asylum if
they do not fill out the right paperwork in time. Third, in 1996, there’s
a law called IIRIRA, the Illegal Immigration Reform
and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which created a rule so
that anyone who’s denied asylum in the United States, Canada,
or Mexico cannot apply in a bordering country without
first returning to their own country where they fear harm. Fourth, expedited removal
was created in 1996 again under President Clinton. And Obama has used this
with ruthless efficiency. From 1996 until 2016,
5.5 million people have been ordered deported. But through expedited
removal and reinstatement, another rapid removal
procedure, 4.2 million have never had a hearing. They have been turned away
by one immigration officer. This means that
4.2 million people have deported in the last
20 years without a hearing, without a lawyer, and
without an appeal. In the past 20 years,
76% of all deportations have been done
without a hearing, and expedited removal
accounts were half of this. Expedited removal
allows for anyone who appears at the
border who says they are afraid that they
technically will have a right to apply for asylum. But if they do not claim a
fear, they are turned away. Now this is supposed to
protect asylum seekers, but in practice,
two recent reports show that the error rate
is exceptionally high. Mistakes are made both
accidentally and intentionally, and there is no review or
appeal to correct them. Examples of the mistakes
include a border patrol officer denying a claim to
a Chinese Christian because he did not go to church. The border patrol
officer did not know that Chinese Christians are
so repressed they do not have a formal church they can go to. Another asylum seeker was denied
because the officer did not believe that Uzbekistan
was a real country. And the officers who conduct
these interviews in Spanish are not required to
be fluent in Spanish. In a court hearing,
the court appointed Spanish translator was unable
to understand the border patrol officer when she was explaining
what she says to asylum seekers to explain the legal
rights that they have. Now there is an
extraordinary lawyer named Stephen Manning,
who’s developed a database for volunteer
attorney corps to share files at detention centers, which
has allowed numerous volunteer attorneys to help represent
thousands of people. In a study of 35,000
people, these lawyers reversed and reduced
expedited order removals at rates of 97% in one detention
center and 99% at the other. This means that when
someone has a lawyer, that expedited
removal is reversed. Expedited removal then is
efficient and effective only in turning away those who are
entitled to legal protection. Now fifth, in 2005
under President Bush, Congress passed the Real ID Act,
which makes any inconsistency a basis to deny asylum. This means if you’re
fleeing for your life and you use a false
name at the border because you used a
false passport to escape from your government,
an asylum officer can deny your entire
request for asylum because you lied to an officer. Congress enacted this law to
overturn the practice used by the Ninth Circuit to
only deny consistencies that go to, quote, “the
heart of asylum claim.” So if you lied about
fleeing your country for being a political
activist when in fact you’re not a political
activist, that is a lie that goes to the
heart of the asylum claim. Now substantively, the
Real ID Act makes no sense. Attorney General Mukasey,
Attorney General Gonzales, and even Attorney
General Sessions have all been caught lying
to Congress while serving as attorney general. Now their first offense
was to ask for context before being judged
about their lie, and also whether there’s
a legitimate reason for the lying. However, asylum seekers are
not afforded that privilege. Now since the 1980s
on a given day, there were 30 immigrants
that were in detention. Today there are 400,000 at a
cost that begins at $2 billion a year. In response to the optics of
the Central American refugee crisis when women
and children were at our border in
large numbers, it was President Obama
who used detention to weaponize the
latest in deterrence. He said in interviews and
sent Vice President Biden to Central America
to tell people not to come to the United States. He chose to create
family detention centers to try and discourage
those who arrived to give up their claims. He even went so far as
to apply for a daycare license for these
detention centers, putting up playground
equipment and jails, saying that these
conditions of confinement with no schools and
no normal childhood serve the interests of children. Obama was the one
who adopted a policy that children as young
as four years old have to represent themselves
in immigration court without a lawyer. This is a critical moment
to ask why we are doing this and why we have been doing this. This question is
particularly important, because by government
numbers, 88% of everyone who presents themselves
at the border has a legitimate
claim for asylum. So in so turning to
reforms, I believe rhetoric is as important as policy. My first proposal for reform is
to shift the framing of asylum from policing fraud,
which does not exist, to accommodating
reasonable fear. If 90% of asylum seekers
have a chance of winning, we should start resettling
them rather than making it harder to give up
the relief that they are owed. We need to hire
more asylum officers and train them so they can
more quickly decide the cases and have a lighter
workload to do that. We need to repeal the one-year
bar to let documented fear, not filing deadlines,
determine who gets relief. And we need to return to the
heart of the asylum claim standard to make sure that only
material inconsistencies can deny claims. Now second, the shift
is away from containing people in detention to
supporting community integration. We need to end detention
for all asylum seekers. We need to end family
detention centers. And we need to end
expedited removal. If the only way we can
deport 4.2 million people is by taking away the
protections of a hearing, a judge, and judicial
review, perhaps we shouldn’t be deporting
4.2 million people. If this is unrealistic,
we have to start by providing
lawyers to all those who are subjected to
expedited removal. And this is a process
that’s already been started in many
states and cities who fund lawyers to represent
people who are detained. And also, we finally just
need to treat asylum seekers like we do refugees. We need to greet them
with work permits. We need to provide them with
English lessons in the way that Canada does. And we need to partner with
religious and community groups to assist in their integration. Now third, I think the most
important power of Trump has been how effectively
he communicates rhetoric. Policy changes are not enough. We must counter this
persistent effort and campaign to explain the value
that asylum seekers have and the contributions they
make to the United States. We all have fantasies, I
think, that if we were tested, we would have chosen
the morally right path. I think we believe that if we
had lived in Hitler’s Germany, we all would have
been first in line to hide Anne Frank
and her family. But I think watching how many
people have the actual bravery or power to stand up to
Trump has been very humbling. Trump said he only wants
merit-based immigration. But do we really
want someone who’s been successful in North
Korea or successful in Putin’s Russia? What have they done? Who have they hurt
to succeed in systems of corruption and persecution? It is important to realize
that those who show up poor at our borders are the
ones who have the bravery to stand up to oppression
and corruption, and did so at the cost of
their well-being and worldly possessions. The asylum seekers
are arriving heroes. They are the ones who should
be getting the military parade, not detention. Now for all of us who
have immigrant members in our family, we really do
understand the unique guardians of American values that
asylum seekers have. As a personal
anecdote, my father was in World War II orphan. He was adopted at age
five by my grandparents, who were US citizens. He went on and served in
the US military for 20 years to show his gratitude
for our country. Growing up, whenever
my siblings and I engaged in political
discussions, he was the first to say, we
are lucky to live in a country where you can disagree
with the government. He knew this. He knew this firsthand,
because his biological father was arrested by the
Soviets and sent to Siberia for criticizing Stalin. My father never saw his
biological father again. My biological grandfather
lost his children and he lost his freedom. My father has explained
to me the value of the First Amendment in a way
that a law school class never has. His ability to
transmit the gratitude for the freedoms our country
has is something only those who have lived in
countries without them can truly appreciate. The final piece then
we need to confront Trump’s policies of malice,
but also Obama and Clinton’s policies of callous
indifference, is to continue the
public education efforts on the invaluable
contributions that the poor and the persecuted
provide to our country so that there is a political
will to transform and reform how we welcome asylum seekers
once the political power returns. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] – I think everyone
in this room is– whatever they
remember about today, we’re going to remember
the story of your father. Thank you so much for that. And– yes. And now Martha Jones. Sorry. I was so transfixed
by that story that I forgot to
introduce Martha Jones. – Thank you, EJ. Good morning. – Good morning. – I also want to thank
the Radcliffe Institute, and in particular Dan
Carpenter, for bringing us together this morning. Our discussion about
gender and citizenship can proceed only with
a sense of urgency. I think you’ve already
heard that this morning. Perhaps you, like
me, are a witness to a humanitarian crisis
here in the United States. Our family, friends,
and neighbors are being deemed
outsiders and criminals. Their detention and
for many expulsion is a testament to how
citizenship and specifically birthright citizenship serves
as both a haven and a scythe. The so-called accident
of birth wraps many of us in an unassailable
cloak of belonging. That same arbiter tears apart
families, exiles soldiers, and brings about
raids in workplaces, cutting a cruel line. I’m a historian of citizenship,
drawn to this subject by the early 19th
century struggles of black Americans, many of
them the descendants of slaves. Their struggles for a
formal, unassailable claim to place to an indelible sort
of belonging, to the soil as well as the body
politic is my subject. I could not know when I
began this work a decade ago that the early struggles
of African Americans would resonate so strongly
through the circumstances of today’s black and
brown immigrants. Thus, my remarks today
turn on a critical juncture in the long history
of citizenship in the United States. The 14th Amendment’s
constitutionalization of jus soli or birthright
citizenship in 1868 is my subject, and
this is the same period we heard Liz Cohen
speak about last night when she referred to the
film Birth of a Nation. And if that film offered
a parody of the Civil War and Reconstruction
eras, I’ll counter with a history written
from the archives rather than with lightning,
as director DW Griffith once put it. Birthright is the
primary regime to which most residents of the United
States are subject until today. Its advent marked, on the one
hand, a radical transformation in what had been an ill-defined
regime of national belonging. At the same time, it was
an incomplete revolution or unfinished, to borrow
Eric Foner’s framing. It is a story for me
today in three parts. Race, gender, and foreignness. 150 years ago, the US was at
work defining citizenship. It was an effort to fix one
of the central oversights of the nation’s founding
constitution, which had been silent on the subject. Some argued that the framers
intended citizenship only for white Americans. Race was a prerequisite. Black Americans, former
slaves and their descendants, lived amidst ambiguity. In the decade before
the Civil War, they numbered nearly
500,000 or 1.6% of the nation’s population. Most had lived in the US for
generations, building families, schools, churches. Their labor was an
engine of prosperity, whether on rural farmlands
or urban cityscapes. Still, free black Americans
lived under constant pressure to leave the country. So-called black laws
limited their travel, work, and public gatherings. Colonization societies
organized to send them to Africa, the
Caribbean, or Canada. In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled
in Dred Scott versus Sanford that black people
were not citizens. These forces all aimed to
remove African Americans from the nation, whether
by coercion or force. A lack of citizenship defined
a decades-long reign of terror that reached into daily life. If they were not citizens,
could black Americans own homes and businesses? Could they worship freely and
govern their own churches? Could they control the
custody and education of their children? Could they travel to visit
family or secure jobs? Could they use the courts
to protect their wages or their personal safety? No authority would say
for sure where they stood. The answer came only
through a revolution. Four years of civil war and the
near dissolution of the nation brought about an end to
slavery and the enactment of a new constitutional regime. The adoption of the
14th Amendment in 1868 guaranteed citizenship
to those born in the US, including former slaves. Black Americans,
of course, would face subsequent challenges
to their civil and political rights, but after
the 14th Amendment, they were ensured that
never again would they face the threat of
arbitrary wholesale removal. Gender. Along with birthright
citizenship, gender was first introduced
into the Constitution with a 14th Amendment
provision that aimed to guarantee black
men the right to vote. The exclusion of women of
all races from the franchise remained permissible. Women, at least
those born in the US, were now clearly citizens. If this had long been assumed
in the case of white women, for black women, this
was a new status. What bundle of rights
might attend citizenship? They were numerous, but when it
came to the elective franchise, it appeared that women would
be guaranteed a lesser bundle. No community was more
troubled by this turn than that of radical
allies, abolitionists and women’s rights advocates. Their conventions
were fraught over what position to take on
the new constitution, and factions emerged. One view is best evoked by
Wendell Phillips’ declaration that this hour
belongs to the Negro. This remark signaled
acquiescence to a gendered political
order in which only men could exercise formal authority. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
captured the essence of the competing faction when
she decried the possibility that white women could be made
into the political inferiors of black men who were,
quote, “unwashed and fresh from the slave
plantations of the South.” Differences largely
framed as those between white women and
African American men cut deep. Black women might have been
at the rhetorical margins of this debate, but
they were present. And at least one, poet and
essayist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, intervened
to reframe it. Her approach to the
question of rights was as much intersectional
as it was universal. The year was 1866,
and she declared, “We are all bound up together in
one great bundle of humanity.” The nation, in
Harper’s view, was embarking on a grand
and glorious revolution, and she argued that any
endeavor to transform the standing of American
women required consideration of society’s weakest
and feeblest members, alongside those individuals with
their hands across the helm. In making her case, Harper
drew upon her vantage point as a colored woman
who, she explained, had felt every man’s
hand against her and hers against every man. Harper cast herself as bound up
with the burdens of blackness and the myriad injustices
that flowed from sex. But if being an African American
woman in the mid 19th century might have engendered
self-doubt, in Harper, it fostered confidence
and conviction. She was among an unprivileged
class of Americans, yet held herself out as the
embodiment of the nation. The most vexing challenges
of freedom, of citizenship, and the Constitution
itself, she argued, should respond to her call that
“We are all bound up together.” Foreignness. If birthright guaranteed
that some were citizens, we’d be mistaken to
think that the question of national belonging
was settled. A nagging vestige of the
pre-Civil War legal regime was the Naturalization Act of
1790, which limited eligibility for citizenship
or naturalization to free white persons. Black people were barred
from naturalization, even after the 14th Amendment. Some lawmakers proposed
striking white, the word white from the act. This met with
opposition from others who feared that this change
would open the door not to black naturalization,
but to the naturalization of Chinese immigrants. The revision’s final language
extended naturalization to those of African
descent, but no provision regarding Chinese
immigrants was included. And by 1882, the first of
the Chinese Exclusion Acts closed this door tight. What of the US-born children
of Chinese immigrants, the descendants of
permanent aliens? Were they citizens? Perhaps not. A view emerged in which it was
argued those born in the US but exempted from domestic
law and regulation were not citizens. The argument went that Chinese
immigrants’ indelible loyalty to the emperor of China was
passed on to their children. Such children were said
to be permanent aliens like their parents. When the case of the United
States versus Wong Kim Ark reached the Supreme
Court in 1897, it reflected the degree
to which thinking about the 14th Amendment and
birthright remained contested. Not only were highly influential
legal minds prepared to opine that the US-born children of
Chinese immigrants were not citizens, low-level officials
like Custom agents– and I’m hearing Kari’s
talk in mind today– these low-level
officials at the border in places like San Francisco
were the critical agents in denying the re-entry of
US-born Chinese descended people into the US. Wong Kim Ark would go on
both to the US District Court and then to the
US Supreme Court. Only then would he
be granted his claim as a citizen of
the United States. Birthright citizenship
has a history that extends across nearly
all of the 19th century, and there are three
takeaways from these early American contests
that I want to leave you with. First is that citizenship,
even its formal parameters, have shifted across time. Citizenship has always
been a contested category, a site for battles
over resources and power, sometimes
taken up by those who aim to expand its
parameters, but also by those– such as those who
excluded Wong Kim Ark, taken up by those
who would use it as an instrument of exclusion. And it’s likely to remain so. There was a question asked last
night about the rule of law, and my answer this morning
is that the rule of law, when it comes to
citizenship, has always been a moving target and
a point of disagreement. And our own moment
is no exception. The second point is that
some 19th century Americans, like Frances Ellen
Watkins Harper, understood keenly the limits of
citizenship for framing rights. She offered instead what today– I think what we would
term human rights. When she situated herself
and other black women as bellwethers for the nation,
she challenged the premise that any constitution, even
one radically transformed, can wholly meet our human needs. And our strategies
today will benefit from thinking beyond the
domestic to the global and to the human. Certainly, this history
is a cautionary tale, one that instructs us about
how the state can fail to recognize, account for,
and incorporate communities in our very midst. There is much to
admire in the work of the Reconstruction-era
lawmakers, their adoption of the 14th Amendment. But today, their definition
of what makes an American falls short of addressing
our citizenship crisis. For today’s
unauthorized immigrants, the 14th Amendment
provides no relief. The once radical promise
of birthright citizenship is beyond their reach. Their lives tell
part of the story. The Pew Research
Center estimated in 2015 that 11 million
unauthorized immigrants– 3.4% of the overall population– lived in the US. They have built families,
homes, and businesses across generations. Their labors drive
economic growth. They are integral to the
country in which they live. And still, they have no access
to the rights of citizens. They have no unassailable
claim to place. 2017 began with anti-immigrant
threats of mass deportation. What followed has been
more quotidian, but no less harrowing. With no path to citizenship,
the 14th Amendment instead becomes a generational scythe. Families of mixed
status confront dislocation and separation
as birthright slices through households, severing
cross-generational ties. It is a haunted
existence that produces lives subject to the arbitrary
winds of political policy. A new reign of
terror is underway. As it was in 1868, people living
in the United States today face schemes that aim
to forcibly excise them from the nation. The resulting crisis
exposes the Constitution’s unintended but tragic
limits, and calls out for solutions as
bold and as imaginative as the 14th Amendment once was. Thank you all very much. [APPLAUSE] – Thank you so much. And now Tali Mendelberg. – So thank you very much, Dean
Cohen and Professor Carpenter and EJ for inviting me here. And thank you all for
coming to this very important and informative forum. This is a wonderful conference. I don’t often have
the opportunity to participate both in
scholarly discussion and activism and the
arts all at once, so really, a rare opportunity. Wonderful. My remarks are
based on a project that I have been working on
to understand women’s silence. And as we all have seen
in this Me Too moment, it is all the more urgent
that women speak up. Unless women feel and
are in fact empowered to speak their minds
and to articulate their distinctive
perspectives, our society can never achieve its
democratic aspirations. So our personal inspiration
for this project– and when I say our,
I mean my co-author, Chris Karpowitz and myself– our inspiration is
Madeleine Albright who broke the glass ceiling
of American diplomacy and national security and
wrote in her autobiography what is essentially the
motto for our project. And she wrote as follows. “Early in my career, I
went to numerous meetings where I was the
only woman present. I would want to contribute
to the conversation, but I would think, if
I say that, everyone will think it’s really stupid. And then a man would say
exactly the same thing, and the participants would
find it utterly brilliant.” And to this day, she
wrote, “I sometimes feel a squirm of anxiety when
I interrupt a discussion in a room with only men.” So the question for us
is, how is it that a woman as tough and as talented
enough to become the first female secretary
of state of the United States find herself tongue-tied? And not just when
she initially started attending these
high-level meetings, but afterwards too, continually. And we think that
the reason that she finds this twinge of anxiety
repeatedly is the same reason that Cecile Richards, a woman
also tough and talented enough to lead Planned Parenthood, was
cut off 44 times when she spoke at a congressional hearing. This was not a simple
case of partisan politics. When a political scientist
named Laura [INAUDIBLE] examined Senate confirmation hearings
systematically over many years, she found that
senators at the time– all-male senators–
systematically interrupt and challenge
the testimony of women much more than that of men. And the key is,
they did that even for the women who shared
their own political ideology. Public speech remains an act
of highly gendered authority. Women who break the glass
ceiling with their bodies still have to figure out
how to exercise authority with their voices. It is no coincidence
that Albright had trouble as the lone woman in the room. Just about any woman who has sat
through a mostly male meeting has had a similar experience. Even informally
open meetings where access is given to
all on the surface, women tend to hang back. Frank Bryan, another political
scientist and an enthusiast of the New England
Town Meeting, spent decades lovingly cataloging more
than 1,000 of these meetings. And he found that women talked
about half as much as men. Most of the men
at these meetings spoke, and most of
the women did not. All this should deeply,
deeply disconcert those who rejoice when
paltry numbers of women rise to power, whether
it is in government or in corporate boards
where there’s recently been much discussion about
the small numbers of women and whether that enables
behavior such as this coming to light now with the Me Too
movement, or at the workplace. In spite of all the progress
that one might point to, gender role
expectations are still deeply, deeply internalized
by women as well as men. To be a good man is
to exercise authority. To be a good woman is
to follow authority. When women assert authority,
particularly over men, they cross that fundamental
gender boundary. So my co-author and
I wanted to know, what could be done to actually
alleviate this problem? So we carried out an experiment. We recruited about
500 men and women, and then we randomly
assembled them into five-member
discussion groups. And we charged these groups
with discussing and deciding how society should
distribute income. To ensure that they took
this task seriously, we told the groups
that they would experience the consequences
of their decision firsthand. They would perform a
task to earn money, and their take-home
pay from the experiment would then be
adjusted by the tax that their group actually set. And the tax would
go to support those who earned the least, in the
experiment and hypothetically in society at large. So this allowed us
to study how women voice their perspectives
about poverty, their perspectives
about income inequality, and their perspectives about
the needs of women and children who are disproportionately
affected by poverty and by wealth
and income inequality. We expected that groups
that had more women would be more respectful
of women’s contributions to the discussion. We thought these groups would
allow more time for women to speak. We thought they would
allow women to raise their distinctive perspectives. And we thought that women
would be interrupted negatively far less. In short, we thought these
groups would treat women, see women as
influential contributors to the group’s decision. These hypotheses will sound
familiar to those of you who have been exposed to the
pathbreaking theory of Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who found
in her pioneering work that where women are a
small proportion of a group or of an organization,
they are marginalized. They are disempowered. They are negatively stereotyped. They suffered discrimination
and even harassment by men. So all of this discussion
about sexual harassment in the workplace would come
as absolutely no surprise to followers of Kanter’s theory,
especially where women are not a majority of the group, are not
a majority of the organization. But the theory is that
where women’s numbers exceed a critical mass, these ill
effects would all diminish. We should be seeing
less sexual harassment in workplaces where women
have the power of numbers to set the tone, to set
the norms of behavior, and to receive equal respect. So critical mass theory has
been extremely influential, and for good reason. Organizations such as the
United Nations have actually declared– and I quote from a
United Nations declaration– “The figure of 30% forms
the so-called critical mass believed to be
necessary for women to make a visible impact
on the style and content of political decision making.” Since then, since
this UN declaration, over 100 countries have
endorsed this goal. Norway, for example, has
actually legislated quotas on its corporate
boards, publicly traded corporate boards. They have set a 40%
minimum quota, a hard quota by law, for these
boards to meet. So this all sounds
terrific, and there’s only one problem with it,
which is that it doesn’t work. [LAUGHTER] At least it doesn’t
work consistently, and it certainly does not
work at the 30% critical mass. Norwegian quotas
have not noticeably increased women’s influence
on corporate boards, although the
verdict is still out since the introduction
of those quotas coincided with the onset
of the great recession. But research in other countries
in a variety of situations looking at various government
entities, committees, and so on finds at best mixed support
for critical mass theory. So in our experiment, we found
that critical mass can matter, but it depends. What is needed is a much
larger critical mass than scholars and
organizations have assumed. And when you really
think about it, this makes sense,
because 30% or even 40% still leaves women in a distinct
minority of those present. Group decisions moreover
are made by majority rule, and majority rule means not only
that the majority preference will win, but it also means
that the majority identity category, the majority identity
group in that situation will set the tone, will set the
norms, and will determine, who is it who gets respect? Who is it who is going
to be listened to? So we thought the majority
identity in the room is going to be crucial. And we thought that assigning
a group to use majority rule is going to empower women
when they are the majority identity in the situation,
in the decision making group. And our findings, in fact,
bear out this hypothesis. We are randomly instructed our
groups to use majority rule. When women comprised a super
majority of those present, when they comprised 80% of
the members of the group, the average woman
and the average man were indistinguishable. They were indistinguishable
in how long they talked, whether they were later rated
by other members as influential, and how often they expressed
their authentic views, which we had assessed ahead of time. This was not true for
groups in which women were a minority of those present. And we also found
that women suffered fewer negative interruptions
from men specifically. Remember back to our discussion
of the congressional hearings. Those negative
interruptions really matter, and they’re correlated
with women’s status. Well, in these
empowered groups where women had 80% of
the members, they suffered far fewer of these
negative interruptions. And they also talked
less about topics that tend to be of
distinctive concern to men, topics
about how to reduce taxes, topics about finance. They talked a lot more
about the needs of families, and they talked a lot more
about the needs of children. This is not a surprise
given that women are still expected to fulfill
these nurturing roles, and they are still expected to
be the ones primarily in charge of taking care of children
and nurturing people in need. So in these groups,
women advocated for more generous distribution
to people living under poverty. Now a variety of
research has shown that women are, in
fact, more likely than men to prioritize
alleviating poverty, prioritize taking care
of children, people who are vulnerable, prioritize
giving more generous assistance to the poor. And in that sense, increased
talk about those issues represents an increased focus on
women’s distinctive priorities. Groups with female
supermajorities were also more
likely than groups with very few women, these
Madeleine Albright groups– to enact these views into
their actual set policies. They voted to set a minimum
guaranteed income for those in poverty that was
half again as generous as the minimum guaranteed income
set by groups with few women. Our groups were a very
diverse mix of men and women. They were a variety of ages. There were a variety
of social backgrounds and a variety of
political perspectives. We recruited groups in a very
conservative community, a very religious community, and
in a very liberal, secular community. And we found that these gendered
patterns were very similar across these diverse communities
and diverse individuals. Now by contrast where
women composed only 20%– these are the Madeleine
Albright groups– the same percentage
that’s common, not just in many meetings
but also on city councils, also in the US House, also
in the US Senate, women spoke traumatically less often. They raised far fewer
times the concerns that are distinctive to women. They talked far less about the
needs of women and children in poverty. They were interrupted by
men at a far higher rate, and they were less
likely at the end to be identified by
the other members as the most influential
member of the group. These same groups also set
a very low poverty line. They set a very low
minimum guaranteed income that resembled the actual
low guaranteed minimum income that our policies,
in fact, provide. So our groups
simulate what might happen if women’s presence
on corporate boards or in legislatures or
other places of power were dramatically greater. But in reality, of
course, the road to female empowerment,
the female majority, supermajority is going to
be very long and extremely painfully slow. The institutions that
most need these reforms are the ones that are
least likely to convert from a supermajority of men
to a supermajority of women. So another possibility is to
replace majority rule, which creates these very
negative dynamics for women in the minority, with
unanimous or consensus rule. Of course, we have
settings that already use consensus rule formally
like the American jury system. But to paraphrase Oscar
Wilde, “unanimous rule takes up too many evenings.” [LAUGHTER] But before I go to
what actually can be done about unanimous
rule without taking “up too many evenings,”
let me just tell you what happened
with our groups when we randomly assigned
them to use unanimous rule. We thought this would create
an inclusive and respectful conversational norms
that would invite women into the discussion
and empower them. And indeed, we found that under
this unanimous rule situation, women did not fare
quite as well as they did in the supermajority
condition with majority rule, but they did much better than
these Madeleine Albright groups did under majority rule, right? So forcing the group to
use a consensus process did, in fact, considerably
close the gender gap. Women received far fewer
negative interruptions. They were able to move that
minimum guaranteed income up quite a bit. But there is a
wrinkle, and that is that where women were a
majority of the group, unanimous rule
actually backfired. So the irony is
that the groups most likely to adopt a consensus
process in the real world tend to be groups that
are predominantly female. And we found that when we
analyzed race dialogue groups that were studied by the
scholar Kathy Cramer Walsh in the Midwest. These groups attracted
predominantly women. They had very explicit rules
that promoted a consensus discussion process. But when we looked at how often
women spoke and what they said, we found these same
negative patterns that we found in our
discussion groups. So what we recommend
then is fitting the rule, fitting the conversational
norm to the numbers of women in the group, where
women make up a large majority. Then the desirable rule
for gender equality is not a consensus
process, but a majority rule that empowers
women to actually set the conversational
norm in the group. However, when women
are a small minority, as they are in many of
these discussion settings– in corporate
boards, governments, in the workplaces– when we have the Madeleine
Albright situation, we should encourage groups
to use a consensus process. Well, what does that
really look like? If we don’t want to take
“up too many evenings,” what does that really
mean in practice? Well, what we
recommend is adopting the kinds of
conversational norms that our unanimous
rule groups did. Give each person a set,
designated amount of flow time. Allow each person to join
the conversation by default. Don’t leave it up to
individuals to decide when to merge into that
fast-going highway, just like Madeleine
Albright was talking about. It’s a huge barrier
for women in particular to try to figure out when
to join that conversation. And set a conversational
norm of equal respect. Do not allow people to
negatively interrupt. All of these gender-free
rules on the surface end up having a vastly
disproportionate impact on women in the group. So thank you very much,
and I look forward to the conversation. [APPLAUSE] – Thank you so much. I realize that I may play the
Madeleine Albright role here, and so I’m going to
ask all my questions with a twinge of anxiety. [LAUGH] Thank you. I always like to think
of what the Fox News headline on an event will be. And Kari gave it to us. Trump declared genius
at Radcliffe conference. [LAUGHTER] So you could explain
that if you want. I have a lot of
questions, and I want to have a chance to
go to the audience. – Fake news. [LAUGHTER] – I want to have a chance
to go to the audience. Maybe I could ask
all of my questions as background, because
if I read that right, does that mean we only
have nine minutes left? – Just for you. – Oh, just for me. Oh, OK. Good. All right. Then I’ll see you. You should time these
things, as you suggest. What I might do is package
the three questions that I have for each of you. And then if I can, I
wanted to get to one more. So then I’ll ask Kari, and
then Martha, and then Tali. That’s unfair to
Kari, because she will have no time to think about it. They will. But you’ll forgive that, I hope. You get to go first. Two questions. One, just a factual matter which
is, did the Obama policy become less aggressive over the
period of the administration? Or was it– my understanding
is there was a shift. I’m just curious. And what I also just wanted
you to talk about a bit is how immigrants,
refugees, and asylum seekers tend to get conflated in
the public discussion, and how that can be a real
problem in talking about this. And if you could talk about
how we think about that. For Martha, I was so
struck by your comments on the post-Civil war,
post-Reconstruction period. And I guess I want to
ask both a specific and a general
question, which is, how we cast one
group’s suffering against another group’s
suffering over and over again in our history, and how we check
the rise of political equality by emphasizing the claims
of one excluded group over those of another
excluded group, I’d just like you
to talk about that. And then more concretely,
we need a solution as bold as the 14th Amendment. Now you could go on,
I think, for a while about what that means. But I would love you to
give us a taste of this. And for Tali, a small factual
question and then a larger question. The small one is,
what evidence is there that the forces
you are describing about gender in a given
meeting or a given conversation are also present by race or
class or immigration status? In other words, how
much does the presence of a group in certain
numbers affect it? Or is it different with gender? And then the larger
question– and I’m going to ask you this question,
because I want somebody to talk about it. You also wrote a great book that
won a big APSA award, The Race Card. And your comments today about
how women’s voices are often not raised or
interrupted or not heard, I can’t resist asking you to
talk about the 2016 election. And what does your
research tell us about the way Hillary
Clinton was or was not heard during that campaign? I’m sticking a rather
large question at you, but I don’t think you
will mind taking that on. So let’s start with
Kari, Martha, and Tali. Sure. So in terms of the
question of, was Obama– did he ever kind of abate his
aggression towards immigrants? And it depends on
what your metric is. I mean, the expedited
removal started in 1996. And at the time, it was supposed
to be just at the border where people, if they
had just been crossing, this used to kind of justify
turning people away who had no ties or no right to be here. In 2002, Bush extended to
the border to 100 miles from any border, which includes
Boston, which basically includes 2/3 of the
country because it is the southern border, it
is the California coast, it is the northern
border, it is in Chicago. It’s any waterway within
100 miles of that border is where people
are now subjected to these expedited
removal rules. In 2014, that’s when Obama
had the peak of the detention and the peak of communicating
directly with people in Central America, giving the
same message to them in the radios and the
television that Trump is doing through
tweets by saying, don’t come to our country. You are not welcome here. But Obama– 5.5 million people
were deported in 20 years. Three million were
deported by Obama. And 76% of those were
without hearings. So he persisted– in
2015, he continued with trying to get daycare
licenses for these family detention centers. It was a court that actually
rescinded that policy. He did not. And he went to court,
and he defended, and he fought, and he won
in preventing children from having rights to counsel. So that was an ongoing
policy that he continued to pursue until the end. – Thank you. Martha? – Thank you. I think another way of
putting your first question would be to ask about how it
is that we came to see the body politic voting and
political culture as a zero-sum game
in a democracy. And this example from
the mid-19th century of the debates between and
among former abolitionists and women’s rights advocates
is one that I think comes to us and functions oftentimes more
so as a myth than as history. And so I think that’s one of
my intended interventions. It’s to say that when I
introduce a figure like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
in this discussion, it’s a reminder that the
body politic in 1868– certainly in 2018– could never
be reduced to African American men’s interests versus the
interests of white women. That wasn’t true 150 years ago. That wasn’t true in 2008, and
it certainly isn’t true today. So I guess I’m concurring in
part with Kari’s point, which is, there is a power
to storytelling, to myth production. And part of my work, of
course, is to try and meet that with some history that
disrupts that, and reminds us that the kind of thorny,
complicated textured questions around citizenship, around
political rights that we grapple with today
are old questions. And they were as thorny and as
troubled as they were before. On the question of
the 14th Amendment, five years ago if we had
convened this meeting, I would have been
much more circumspect. I might have even been
mum on the question of the 14th Amendment and
its birthright provision. It’s to say that five
years ago, law professors, we were debating this question. There were some
who were advocating the repeal of the 14th Amendment
and its birthright provision, advocating in the
alternative for a kind of affirmative affirmation,
oath-based system for citizenship in
the United States. I was among those who was
reluctant, because in a sense, I didn’t want to let
the cat out of the bag. I didn’t want to
let, if you will, the opposition
know that there was this thing called
birthright citizenship in the Constitution. And that it is– while robust in that the
amendment of the Constitution is a complex process, that it
is vulnerable to amendment, to rethinking. Well, today that cat is
out of the bag, I think. And part of my point today is to
urge us to seize that question and not leave it to those
who would undo birthright for the purposes of exclusion. Those of us who advocate
for thinking and rethinking about citizenship as an
instrument of inclusion also have to think
critically about birthright and strategize
about how we want to redo that. So there were those who have
advocated repeal, replacement with a kind of
affirmation system, others who have proposed
folding in service such as military service
as a door to citizenship. I had been thinking a lot about
family and the ways in which– I’m not going to say
family values, right? Because that’s not the phrasing
or the connotation I intend. But the value of family, the
centrality of our expanding and changing notions
of family is still a core that might be
drawn more closely to constitutional thinking
about, who is a citizen, and why? – And you might create
left-right coalitions. [LAUGH] I actually want to get
to that at some point, but thank you for that comment. So I’ve thrown a big
one at you, Tali, because I knew you had
good ideas about it. – Flattery will
get you everywhere. [LAUGHTER] I’m happy to talk
about that as well. So let me take the
first question first. Do we have evidence that a
similar dynamic to what I’ve identified for gender also
exists for race, class, immigration status? And I would expand the question
to other types of identities as well. And the unfortunate answer
is that we have very, very little research
on this question, and we desperately
need that research. So if there are any enterprising
scholars in the room, I hope that you will put that at
the top of your priority list. And it is something that I’m
thinking about how to study. Want I would suspect,
what we do know is that members of
identity groups with lower levels of authority in society
do have greater difficulty in merging into that
highway of the conversation. Just as Madeleine
Albright indicated, these marginalized
identities unfortunately do carry not just
a social stigma, but they carry a specific
deficit of authority. And that means both
it’s difficult to join the conversation, and that when
one does join the conversation, one tends to experience
a lesser respect and experiences oneself as
less valued as an individual, experiences one’s
perspective and one’s very selfhood as less valued. And we do have
qualitative studies that point to that effect. We have powerful
testimonies by people who point to that effect. I would just add just a
little bit of evidence from research that I conducted
with a former graduate student of mine,
Matt Tokeshi, who is now a professor at Williams. We did a systematic
study of whether African American candidates for
high-level office such a Senate or governor are able to talk
about race in the same way that an identical
white candidate might talk about race. And we found that unfortunately,
the answer is far from yes. A white candidate has
much more latitude to say, to talk about
racial discrimination and to point to
racial inequalities, to point out when their
opponent in Trump style has played the race
card against them. And by contrast, an
African American candidate who’s identical– these are experiments,
so we keep everything identical
about the candidates except for their race. An African American candidate
has far less leeway, and often tends to incur
harmful consequences, and loses electoral
support from white voters. So just a little bit
of evidence suggesting that we should probably
expect, unfortunately, a similar dynamic
when it comes to race and probably immigration status. Any kind of identity
that unfortunately experiences a gap in authority. As to 2016, I believe that
Trump represented a singularity. That’s not to say that
there won’t be imitators, but that his instance,
his candidacy represented a sharp break
with other past practices of campaigning. And I think that he
benefited in that respect a great deal from being
a television reality show personality. And a lot of the ways that
voters read him, the way they interpreted him and
what he represented was colored through that lens
of TV reality, reality shows. So I think that in that sense,
there’s a little bit of hope there, except that his
incredible success might now be imitated by others. So in my book, The
Race Card, I pointed to the importance of
conversational norms of equality. And I documented how,
over the past few decades since the 1950s,
there has been a rise in a very important
and very consequential norm that prohibited
people from sounding as if they were racist. And that norm represented
a great deal of progress. Trump clearly violated that norm
without very much consequence, almost with impunity. And so in that sense, I
think he really represented a sharp break from the past. All of that created a
perfect storm for someone like Hillary Clinton,
who on top of that probably experienced the adverse
consequences of lingering outright sexism on
top of all of that. – Thank you so much. That was a great and
comprehensive answer. I appreciate that. A lot of people are going
to go away with that. It is time for questions. There– is it one mic in
the middle of the room? Is that the one I see? Please feel free to come up. While people are gathering,
I’m going to give you a background question. Don’t answer it now, but if
you could bear it in mind. I’d be just fascinated
if you have any thoughts. Well, there’s somebody
already at the mic, so why don’t you start? I’ll get to my background
question again. Please identify yourselves
when you ask a question. As a friend of
mine likes to say, if you could have
a question mark at the end of the sentence. [LAUGHTER] – Yes. I’m Peggy Weisenberg, a devotee
of the Radcliffe Institute. I for many years worked as the
lawyer for birth registration in Massachusetts. And I wanted to follow up on EJ
Dionne’s dialogue with Martha about what bold ways might
you be advocating for. I don’t see Jacqueline
Bhabha here. She has a joint appointment
with the law and Kennedy School, and hosted a conference
about birthright citizenship. And there I learned– I mean, there’s a concern
about statelessness, and the UN really wants to have
birth registration systems. And some countries
don’t use either birth– well, they use
different methods. But one as I recall
was looking to housing, looking at housing
and residency. And so I’m wondering
from Martha, given the current climate
and the controversy over the census, which is
a different way of counting than birth registration,
if we should be looking to, who’s a resident? Anybody who’s a resident
of Massachusetts is a citizen of Massachusetts. Anyone born here is
a citizen of the US. So what do you think
about residency? Not just family ties,
anchor babies, whatever. – Well, your question goes right
to the heart of the question, doesn’t it? Which is to say perhaps
we could contrast our case to myriad examples
in Europe about how European nations grapple with the
status and the inevitability of refugees, be they
economic, political, or otherwise would be a
way to think about that. Should we begin to distinguish
between residents and citizens in ways? The question of
how Massachusetts deems a resident and the
United States deems a resident, doesn’t it feel like we’re
on the cusp of that question as both states and
municipalities begin to invoke the asylum
principle for their territory? So I think partly
we are there, right? We are asking those questions. And I’m happy to hear about the
conference that you attended. I’m happy for this
conversation, because I think it’s time for us to have
that conversation in the open and to be prepared for
the kinds of debates. I think if once upon
a time, you know, the asylum city,
the asylum state was an aspirational
and a symbolic gesture. Well, we’re about to
see that tested, I think, in legal ways that
will take us right back to the 19th century for me and
debates about what it meant when the state of
Massachusetts regarded a former slave as a citizen
and the United States did not. So thank you for that. – Thank you. Please. – I’m Jody Lisberger. I’m a professor of gender
and women’s studies from the University
of Rhode Island. Tali, this is a
question for you. I’m interested in the
studies that you’re doing, but I find the work so
gendered, reifying gender in terms of how you’re
very strongly delineating men and women. And I’m also thinking about
gender fluidity and the number of people in our world who do
not identify strictly as male or female or men as women. You said in your comment
that norms, as a quote, “determine who
will get respect.” What are you doing
to change the norms? That is, you seem to put
the burden of responsibility on women, what you
call women speaking up. What about shifting
the norms so that men who you identify as
men, and I think there are people all
across the spectrums, identifying those patterns of
behavior and changing them? – Could I just– are you done? I’m sorry. I don’t want to– what I wanted to do, I
think, just because– so that says four minutes, 17 seconds. We maybe have a little
more time than that. Could I take two
questions at once so that we could get
more of you in? Please. – My name is Priscilla Douglas. I used to teach at
Radcliffe seminars. My area is leadership. I’m wondering about the tone,
the mood of this country that affects the conversation and the
policies that are being adapted around race, immigration. In my opinion, the tone and mood
around previous administrations is significantly different from
the tone, the mood, the hatred around what’s happening today,
compounded by disinformation. So what do you think about
the tone and the mood and the influence on policy? – Thanks. That’s a great question. Who wants to start? Kari, why don’t you start? – Sure. On that tone, I think
that’s the challenge that the left needs to take on. Martha, I loved your talk. But if I can push back, why
not embrace family values? And I say that
because if it was only used in the context of gay
marriage to should just say– as a nice way to
discriminate against people, or why not put this
as a moral aspiration that we all should have? Because if we do start
talking about morality, part of the morality– I completely agree with you that
immigration is a family system. And that whether it be the
mixed families or what have you, and the court are recognizing
that the rights of immigrants aren’t foreigners and
strangers at the borders. It’s the rights to
citizens to have these people as
part of our families and part of our communities. And so I completely
agree that I think it’s time for the left to take
a very forceful moral view, and defend it and defend it well
to explain why we need a more inclusive world and why we need
more immigrants in particular to be a part of our community. – Thank you. Anyone else want to take on
any of the other questions? Yeah? – Yeah. Thank you for that question. On gender fluidity,
I agree absolutely that it’s vitally important
to theorize and empirically, systematically investigate the
situation faced by gender fluid people. I don’t agree that this study
reifies hard gender categories, but rather, the attempt
is to understand how many, many people who do
identify as cisgender conduct themselves in
the halls of power. And so I would say,
this is an initial step to understand that category,
the cisgender category. And I very much hope that
this theoretical framework and this methodology of
systematically counting each time someone is
interrupted, systematically counting, how many times
does a person articulate their unique perspective,
systematically measuring all kinds of outcomes,
including the hard dollar amounts that policy
sets, which influences people’s lives in
very concrete ways, I would hope that people would
find some utility in that as well, and expand it to
other kinds of identities. How do we change the norms? I certainly don’t intend to
be putting the burden on women or any other identity category
that is already disadvantaged. To the contrary,
this is not Lean In. [LAUGHTER] This is, we need to
change the structure. We need to change the rules. We need to change institutions. But we need to do
it in a smart way, and recognize that
the numbers of women present are going
to matter in how the rules change gender dynamics
and narrow inequalities. We need to think hard
about, is everyone present really given free and
easy access to the floor? We all need to
interrogate that, and we need to do it through
changing these rules, changing these structures. And in addition, part
of what we’ve identified is that a very
destructive mechanism that makes all of this work is
men’s verbal aggression towards women. And so in that
sense, this is a call and an invitation to men in
general to be more self-aware. So again, this is not,
women need to change things. But rather, it is
a call for women to realize that it is
possible to gain empowerment by changing the rules. – Thank you. Now we are theoretically
at the end. If each of you could ask
really really, really fast– and I’ll let Martha
sort of close, because you were the one
person not in this last round. So if you can be really quick,
I want to include both of you. – Sure. Good morning. My name is Diane Felicio. A quick follow-up
question for Tali. Women leaders leading
women leaders. I find myself in that
situation quite a bit. Especially politically
curious if your research can speak to that at all. – And– – She’s got it. She’s ours. – Oh, OK. [LAUGH] Perfect. – I was going to
answer Tali’s question. [LAUGHTER] – Tali, you want to
go quick on that? I’ll let Martha close, and then
I have one quick thing to say. – Yes. Thanks for that. There is emerging
evidence that having women in very visible and
concretely powerful positions does have an influence
on recruiting more women into positions of power. If a cisgender woman
is governor of a state, recent results suggest
that she does quite a bit to promote the entry
of women into office. And we also know that
voters, cisgender women in the electorate, are
much more likely to gain political knowledge and gain
political empowerment when they see women in actual,
visible, concrete positions of power. – And finally, Martha. – So if I could, I’ll
just come back to briefly Priscilla Douglas’
question about tone. I appreciate it
very much, because I think there’s a way in
which we can come back to values and morality and
this kind of discourse. But it is also true that Jody’s
question suggested to me– many of us, I’ll
say, I am learning to do that with a new
kind of nuance, right? Which is to say when I invoke
categories like gender, like race, the meanings
and the nuances, the subtleties, the textures of
those categories have shifted. And I have to be mindful of
the transgendered members of my community just
as I am aware of men and women in my community, or
people who identify as such. I find myself using Ta-Nehisi
Coates’ somewhat awkward phrasing, right? People who believe
themselves to be white. People who are believed to be
white rather than white people. And this is a burden on us. I think it’s an
imperative on us to speak through the sort of tone
that we would call for, to insist on the kind
of nuance as well that I think is missing from this
particular historical moment. So thank you so much
for that question. – Thank you. I want to close with one
sentence and a quotation. The one sentence is I’m
very grateful for what you said just a moment ago, Kari. Because for at
least three decades, I have been obsessed
with a paradox in our political
conversation that it’s the political right that talks
a lot about family values, but feminists and
progressives who talk the most about what
it takes to make families and childrearing work better. And somehow, we have to bring
those conversations together, or challenge the prevailing–
what family values is taken to mean and try to make
it mean something substantive. The quotation I can’t resist
ending this panel with is from somebody
many of you know, Rose Schneiderman, the famous
American trade unionist. And it seemed appropriate for
an opening panel on citizenship. “What the woman who
labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist, the
right to life as the rich woman has the right to life, and
the sun and music and art. You have nothing that the
humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread,
but she must have roses too. Help, you women of privilege. Give her the ballot
to fight with.” Thank you, Martha. Thank you, Kari. And thank you, Tali. [APPLAUSE]

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