there are several examples for visualizing the so-called path to citizenship — they are all optimistic, and not realistic. they also all begin by taking this idea of the “path” as though it is really that — instead, we could visualize it as an obstacle course, or

these visualizations focus on the applicant, as though being “illegal” and earning citizenship is about the individual — they have broken laws, they must earn the privilege, etc.  we should make a visualization that seeks to do several things:

1. a better and more accurate picture of what this bill actually does in terms of excluding people, w ith examples: the obstacle course

focus on the militrization triggers

then the many many eligibility criteria

6 years – then renew – focus on the poverty provisions — (migration policy institute): more than a quarter of undocumented families have annual incomes less than $20,000. The federal poverty line for a family of four is $23,550, or $11.32 an hour for a full-time worker—higher than many immigrants’ wages. — the continuous employment provision invites abuse by employers, because it makes unemployment unthinkable for the worker. Layoff or firing becomes an even more powerful threat to hold over the heads of workers who speak up on the job. — also, what does proof of employment consist of? it is not possible for garmet workers, domestic workers etc.

myth – 10 years to Green card – no, it is bad math, it is 6 years after receiving rpi until renewal; then 4 years after receiving the renewal until applying for green card; (the wait times are not included in this).

2. but there should be a bigger context around it — what is missing from the example above: visualize how people are made stateless, how people are displaced and what triggers forced migration in the first place… then what triggers removing personhood (ie laws that make people illegal on arrival — why cant we migrate with our full dignity and personhood?). we should visualize the obstacles that the market and the state state place upon people — in other words, to not repeat the process of focusing on the migrant as the “problem”. but instead focusing on the systemic interruptions, obstacles and injustices that are created by the state and capitalism in order to push people into forced migration and then to create an artificial and dangerous so-called path to citizenship.

(ie there is first a path out of citizenship — and that is NOT created by individual migrants making decisions to “break the law” and jump the fence — what pushes people out of personhood?)


how to develop something like this that is useful and at the same time leads to thinking about citizenship and borders in a critical way — how to re-think citizenship? consider the notion of global citizenship

can we work on #1 first and then “add” #2?


“We can’t imagine a global citizenship or any concept of dynamic citizenship if we don’t think about it not only in terms of law but in terms of the political economy of bodies that move. There have to be structures that can receive and host this kind of movement. This is why citizenship is not simply a subjective phenomenon but also an objective phenomenon of hospitality” – Antonio Negri, The Right of Passage.


this could be a graphic thing first — then maybe we can make it more visual



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