The COVID-19 pandemic is having devastating consequences for countries around the world. Refugees and migrants face challenges similar to, but even more dire than those of many of their host populations. Already impacted by massive disruption in their lives, including greater levels of food insecurity, poverty, and woefully inadequate access to essential services that would help mitigate the health crisis, refugees and migrants face a grim future. Unfortunately, these fragile populations are often invisible in their suffering.
Propublica immigration reporter Dara Lind hosts a discussion with Douglas S. Massey, an expert on international migration at Princeton University, Suffolk Dean and global engagement expert Maria Toyada, clinical professor of law at Suffolk Ragini Shah, and Adriana Lafaille, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts dealing with immigration detention and immigrants’ rights issues. Together they look at how the pandemic is exacerbating these issues. They consider how the crisis will fuel greater conflict around the world, as prices rise and incomes fall, and how it may create a call to action to increase health and social protections.
This Suffolk University lecture series, presented with the Ford Hall Forum and WGBH Forum Network, is designed as a broad examination of the themes of interest to political scientists and public policy experts. The series is part of a novel online course offered to incoming Suffolk students and made available to the public.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Follow the course: Week #5 Assignments
Addressing COVID-19 in resource-poor and fragile countries
The Humanitarian Response to COVID-19: Protecting the World’s Vulnerable Populations
“It’s the End of the World Economy as We Know It” by Neil Irwin
Civic Engagement Activity & Reflection
Engage in at least one civic / political event of your choice during the course and document this with a short reflection essay. Try a virtual town or city hall meeting with local or state representatives, a meeting of an activist group, etc. The reflection should draw on readings from assignments and your own additional research. Members of the public who wish to share their reflections should post a link on Twitter and tag @GBHForumNetwork and @supolscilegal.
BIO: Dara Lind
Dara Lind covers immigration policy for ProPublica in Washington, DC.
Before coming to ProPublica, she spent five years as Vox’s immigration reporter; she remains a regular cohost of the Vox podcast “The Weeds.” She’s been covering immigration in some form since the end of the George W. Bush administration.
BIO: Maria Toyoda, Ph.D.
Maria Toyoda is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Suffolk University. Most of her career has been spent in areas of global engagement, and she is deeply committed to providing economic and political access and opportunities through higher education.
Maria was a Social Science Research Council Abe Fellow, and as a Council on Foreign Relations/Hitachi International Affairs Fellow in Tokyo, where she worked at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Maria was a research scholar at Stanford University’s Institute for International Studies (now the Freeman-Spogli Institute), the Asia/Pacific Research Center, and the Stanford Japan Center-Research in Kyoto. She also served as a program director, chair, associate dean and professor at Villanova University.
She received her A.B. in Human Biology with Honors from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. with Distinction in Government from Georgetown University.
BIO: Ragini Shah
Ragini Shah is a Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University. Professor Shah joined Suffolk in 2007, founding Suffolk’s first Immigration Clinic. She also teaches Immigration Law and has supervised a number of students conducting internships with law offices working on immigration issues. In 2012, she was granted a Fulbright award to deepen her research into these connections and from 2012-2013 conducted over 70 interviews with former migrants and their families in Mexico. In 2017, Professor Shah returned to Mexico to examine the impact of the Trump administration’s heightened border enforcement measures on unauthorized migrants’ decision making.
Prior to joining Suffolk, Professor Shah was a Lecturer in Law and Clinical Staff Attorney in the Child Advocacy and Immigration Law Clinic at Columbia University School of Law. Before joining Columbia in 2003, Professor Shah was a staff attorney in a number of legal services organizations in the New York area serving low income tenants, immigrant detainees and immigrant youth. Professor Shah received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.
BIO: Doug Massey
Doug Massey is Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, with a joint appointment in The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, he is the current president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is a member of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and co-editor of the Annual Review of Sociology. He currently serves as Director of the Office of Population Research.
Massey’s research focuses on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, stratification, and Latin America, especially Mexico. He is the author, most recently, of Brokered Boundaries: Constructing Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times, coauthored with Magaly Sanchez and Published by the Russell Sage Foundation.
BIO: Adriana Lafaille
Adriana Lafaille joined the ACLU of Massachusetts as a legal fellow in October 2012 and became a staff attorney in November 2015. She has focused on immigration detention and immigrants’ rights issues. The Massachusetts Bar Association selected her as the 2015 Access to Justice Rising Star, and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2015 “Excellence in the Law” event recognized her as an “Up and Coming” lawyer.
Before joining the ACLU of Massachusetts, Adriana clerked for the Hon. Ralph D. Gants on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and for the Hon. Mark L. Wolf in the District of Massachusetts. Adriana graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010 and is a native speaker of Spanish and Portuguese.