About ANTH 1990 A

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Cross listed with POLS 1990 B; Total combined enrollment = 119; Open to degree and PACE students Special Topics courses cannot carry CC designations.

Section Description

In this interdisciplinary course, students will become familiarized with the current, ongoing migration of people from Mexico and Central America to the United States, the reasons that many of them are seeking asylum in this country, and the numerous challenges they face in doing so. Over the course of the semester, we will examine the long-term causes of this migrant exodus from those countries up to the present day, the policies in place that govern migration and asylum, the legal aspects of asylum seeking and the asylum process, and the politics that have driven and continue to underwrite all these things. We will also analyze the causes and consequences of US immigration policy through time, and the push and pull factors that drive migration decisions, including political and economic conditions in the countries of origin and in the United States. This is therefore a course that is centrally focused on the following themes: the migrant experience, organized crime and drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America, US-Latin American relations, migration history and policy, immigration politics, and asylum law and process. This is the first part of a two-course sequence and will be the principal prerequisite (among others) for a seminar to be taught in 2024-5 that will include a service-learning component in support of asylum seekers and their attorneys.

Section Expectation

Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings and complete all assigned readings and written assignments. You may not pass this class if you do not complete all assigned work. This is a lecture-based course, but active and engaged participation is strongly encouraged.


Students will be evaluated on the basis of an in-class midterm and a final exam. There will also be several short written assignments, quizzes and other exercises throughout the semester.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Courses may be cancelled due to low enrollment. Show your interest by enrolling.

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