Marcelo Suárez-Orozco on Immigration’s “Malaise”

Photo by Karel Miragaya,

This post is excerpted from the UCLA Ed&IS online magazine Ampersand.

UCLA Ed&IS Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco has published an op-ed for the Los Angeles Review of Books titled, “Immigration’s ‘Malaise,’ which focuses on the atmosphere of racism, xenophobia, and fear that has risen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the age of COVID-19, fear of contamination has come to define how we think about the immigrants among us,” writes Suárez-Orozco, who co-founded Re-imagining Migration in 2017 with UCLA Professor of Education Carola Suárez-Orozco. “Fear is easily weaponized in the service of hate.

“…reimagining the narrative of belonging, reclaiming the humanitarian call, and recalibrating the institutions of the nation-state are a sine qua non to move beyond the current malaise. In the long term, we must retrain hearts and minds, especially younger ones, for democracy in the context of demographic change and superdiversity. We need to convert a dread of the unfamiliar ‘Other’ into solidarity, compassion, fraternity and a democratizing desire for cultural difference. We must endeavor to cultivate the humanistic ideal to find oneself ‘in Another’ in the refugee, in the asylum seeker, and in the immigrant.”

To read “Immigration’s ‘Malaise’ by Marcelo Suárez-Orozco in the Los Angeles Review of Books, visit this link.