March 26, 2008

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Posted March 26, 2008

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Doug Massey will give the talk, "Mexican Immigration: The Facts, the Reality, and the Consequences – What to do?" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free to the public, is the final event in the university's International Focus Year Series on Latin America and the Caribbean. It is sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

Politics of contradiction
Massey says of his talk, "Since 1986 the United States has employed a politics of contradiction in its relations with Mexico. With U.S. encouragement, Mexico joined GATT in that year and embarked on a neoliberal economic project that opened its economy to trade, investment, and exchange, a project that was institutionalized by NAFTA, ratified by the United States, and fully enacted in 1994. 

"Over the same period, however, the U.S. has poured increasing resources into maintaining the illusion of a controlled border that is impervious to the flow of Mexican workers, even as it becomes more permeable with respect to capital, information, goods, commodities, and services. 

"In this presentation, I document the contradictory policy of growing integration and increasing separation and trace out the costs of this contradiction for the inhabitants of both countries and the people who move between them."

Mexican immigration authority
Massey, who is Henry G. Bryan Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, also serves as director of graduate studies in the Woodrow Wilson School. Considered one of the nation's leading authorities on Mexican immigration, he is affiliated with the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.

President of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Massey is the author, most recently, of Strangers in a Strange Land: Humans in an Urbanizing World, and editor of the forthcoming New Faces in New Places: The Changing Geography of American Immigration.
Bucknell's Focus Semester program, which began in 1990, is designed to provide undergraduates with exposure to international geographic and cultural themes. The series originally began with a geographic focus – Africa, Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and even outer space. The Focus Semester series grew to a year-long series in 2003 to allow a more comprehensive experience. For more information on past Focus Year series, visit

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