04.11.2011 – 05.11.2011 /10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Immigrant Movement International’s Headquarter

IM International will be holding a two-day convening, engaging (im)migration experts from both local and international communities, activists and community leaders from social service organizations, elected officials and academics. The event will focus on re-defining what it means to be a (im)migrant in the context of the 21st century, establishing a new framework for analyzing this multifaceted concept.


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We are pleased to have the opportunity to welcome you to Immigrant Movement International‘s two-day convening Re-Conceptualizing the 21st Century (Im)Migrant. We are looking forward to the seeing the creative output generated by our work together and would like to provide you with additional information related to this event.

Our objective is to establish a new framework for analyzing and defining the multifaceted concept of (im)migrant under contemporary legal, political, and economic conditions by engaging a group of experts in the subject from diverse disciplines and fields, including academics, elected officials and community organizers.

On the first day of our convening we will present and discuss the limitations of the term (im)migrant in the 21st century context. While operating in the format of working groups, the tentative goal is to propose a foundation for a new term and vision. The following day we will reconvene to generate a set of practical guidelines that can be utilized as a reference for policy makers and activists.

Prior to the convening we will be initiating the discussion via our online forum, where participants can familiarize with the the topics of the event and posting feedback comments in order to prompt a more dynamic, thorough, and productive discussion once we are all physically in the same room on November 4th and 5th. The online forum will be available only to those directly involved in the project and to access it you need a password. Your username and password are included in your personal welcome letters.

In preparation for the event, we are asking all participants to post their responses to a short question on the online forum as well as a few bill-type articles that would be essential to a declaration of (im)migrants rights.

For your convenience we have included a list of selected works by participants that we think will help provide theoretical and practical basis for our discussion. All information regarding the event including the schedule, the list of participants, and directions, is available on this site. Additionally, you can learn about our ongoing project, IM International and the neighborhood that we are operating out of – Corona, Queens – a multi-national community in the heart of the most ethnically diverse area in the country.

Thank you for being a part of this event, we are looking forward to collaborating with you and seeing the outcome of our collective effort to advance the opportunities and rights of (im)migrants.

If you should have any questions feel free to contact us.

Best Regards,

Tania Bruguera


Prior to the convening, we are asking participants and collaborators to begin the process of re-defining the term (im)migrant in the context of the 21st century by submitting written responses.

Please respond to the following questions in less than 1,500 words:

-In an era of an increasingly interconnected global community, (im)migration and communication have changed radically through advancements in technology and international relations. The social, economic and political context of (im)migration is drastically different from even a decade ago. How then can we define (im)migrants or even the need for such social and legal distinctions in the 21st century? Can such a group be seen as a new “class” or “identity” sharing some experiences and responses that cut across cultural background, economic opportunity and legal status? It is important to have a clear, universal re-definition of the 21st century (im)migrant to see how this term can be implemented for practical use and progressive change.

-On the second day of the convening, using the definition of the 21st century (im)migrant, we will be developing a document in the form of a bill of rights or a declaration or any alternative document that would be effective in advancing sustainable social change. Although this concept is similar to previous initiatives, such as the International Migrant Bill of Rights, the NY Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the UN Convention of the Rights of MigrantsNY State Dream Act, the eventual goal of the document proposed by IM International is slightly different. Once we have established a set of guidelines on advancing the rights and opportunities of (im)migrants, the document will be distributed to community organizers and politicians on a local, domestic and international level for practical use. The next step of our project will be an international call to action on artists and immigrants to stand up and act in response to theUnited Nations’ International Migrants Day using the document. Please list two elements that would be essential to such a document.

*Written responses can be directly posted to our private forum

*If you are trouble posting please see our instructions or feel free to email your responses to


Dr. Abel Valenzuela, Jr.

Alvaro Rodas

Amy Gottlieb, JD

Ana Reza

Anne Pasternak

Cara Stark

Daniel Calleja

David Bacon *

Commissioner Fatima Shama

Gavin Kroeber

Dr. Giovanni Peri *

Dr. Homi Bhabha *

Dr. Jason Drucker

Dr. Jorge Bustamante

Jose Serrano

Justin Akers Chacón *

Dr. Kitty Calavita *

Luz Mejía

Dr. Michael Piore *

Naila Caicedo-Rosario

Dr. Nandita Sharma

Nato Thompson

Prerana Reddy

Ron Hayduk

Dr. Saskia Sassen

Steven Choi, JD

Tania Mattos

Tom Finkelpearl

Valeria Treves

Dr. Victoria Hattam
* collaborators


Amita Swadhin

Andrea Nagel


Abel Valenzuela Jr., Nik Theodore, Edwin Meléndez, Ana Luz Gonzalez On the Corner: Day Labor in the United States

Carlos Yescas Indigenous Routes A Framework for Understanding Indigenous Migration

David Bacon We Need Better Alternative

Dorian Warren and Kate Bronfenbrenner Race, Gender and the Rebirth of Trade Unionism

Giovanni Peri Immigration, Labor Markets and Productivity

Jorge Bustamante Extreme Vulnerability of Migrants: The Cases of the United States and Mexico

Kitty Calavita U.S. Immigration Policy- Contradictions and Projections for the Future

Michael Piore Birds of Passage – Comment

Nandita Sharma Anti-Trafficking Rhetoric in the Making of Global Apartheid

Ron Hayduk Democracy for All?: The Case for Restoring Immigrant Voting in the United States

Saskia Sassen Citizenship Destabilized

Tarry Hum New York City’s Asian Immigrant Economies

Victoria Hattam and Carlos Yescas From Immigration and Race to Sex and Faith: Reimagining the Politics of Opposition

*To submit a reading, please send a link or PDF file to

Friday, November 4

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Arrive at Immigrant Movement International

Coffee and Light Breakfast Served

Receive Welcome Bag and Information Packet

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Welcome, Immigrant Movement Mission and Event Introduction by Tania Bruguera

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Guidelines and Goals

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.

Personal Introductions

11:00 – 11:40 a.m.

Timeline of Role of Immigrant, Victories and Obstacles

11:40 – 12:00 m.

December 18 Day of the International Migrant Open Call for Artist Actions (introduction presented by Tom Finkelpearl and selected artist actions presented by Nato Thompson)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Re-conceptualizing the Term (Im)migrant for the 21st Century

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Catered Peruvian Lunch

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Working Groups Part 1

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. 

Reportback – Concrete Proposals

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Coffee/Tea Break

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Working Groups Part 2

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.

Reportback – Concrete Proposals

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Mojito Break

5:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Synthesizing Thoughts into New Term: (Im)migrant in the 21st Century

6:15 – 6:30 p.m.

Conclusion/Next Steps

6:30 – 6:45 p.m.

Fill out Evaluation

6:45 p.m.

Leave for Indian Dinner at the Queens Museum of Art

Saturday, November 5

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Arrive at Immigrant Movement International

Coffee and Light Breakfast Served

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Review of Guidelines and Goals & Introduce New Participants

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Summarize of Previous Day and Introduce New Concept of (Im)Migrant

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.

Revisit Timeline

11:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Discussing Victories & Obstacles: Prior Documents – Why Don’t They Work?

11:45 – 12:00 m.

Clothesline Debates

12:00 – 12:45 m.

Group Discussion: Key Debates

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Catered Korean-Japanese Lunch

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.

Introduce Idea of Document, Explain how it will be used

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Working Group 1

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Working Group 2

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

Empanada Break

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Report Backs, Draw Out Key Themes

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

December 18 Day of the International Migrant Open Call for Artist Actions (selected artist actions presented by Anne Pasternak)

4:30 – 5:45 p.m.

Composing the Document

5:45 – 6:15 p.m.

Forthcoming Vision/Next Steps

6:15 p.m.

Dinner at Turkish Grill Restaurant


OWS Immigrant March in NYC

December 18


.  Access OWS Announcement

.  Access USTREAM

United Nations’ Student Conference on Human Rights (UNSCHR)

December 12

.  Access VIDEO

Immigrant Movement International (IM International), an ongoing project initiated by artist Tania Bruguera and co-presented by Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art, today issued its Migrant Manifesto, a document of 10 points that can be used to help redefine the concept of the 21st century migrant, at the United Nations’ Student Conference on Human Rights (UNSCHR).

Today’s reading of the Manifesto, the first time it has been presented to the public, was introduced by Bruguera, and then read in Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, French, Mandarin and English by immigrants from Mexico, Iran, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and Taiwan, respectively.

The Migrant Manifesto, created in collaboration with immigration academics, community organizers, social service activists, elected officials, and community members at a convening at the IM International headquarters in Corona, Queens on November 4-5, 2011, is intended to draw attention to establishing a new framework for analyzing multifaceted concept of migration., with the intention of elevating political representation and awareness.

“Migration is an undeniably central element of contemporary existence, and by issuing the Migrant Manifesto to the leaders of tomorrow at this United Nations Students Human Rights Conference, we are emboldening a new generation to take action,” said Bruguera. “While we celebrate International Migrants Day each year on December 18, it is crucial that we acknowledge the rights, contributions and sacrifices of immigrants every day of the year.”

Bruguera’s issuance of the Manifesto is the first in a series of worldwide artistic actions focused on immigration to take place on December 18, 2011, designated “International Migrants Day” by the United Nations. Bruguera and IM International have put forth an open call to artists, immigrants, activists, and interested members of the public to stage an action on December 18, 2011 at 2pm local time in recognition of the concept of transnational migrants as a “global class” united across continents and cultures by common political and social conditions, as well as by the human experience of being a migrant. By engaging participants across the globe in a UN-endorsed project, the organizers hope to promote understanding of the specificity of local migration issues and the political interconnectedness across nations and regions that migration engenders.

In December 1998, the United Nations Department of Public Information invited students from around the world to a conference at UN Headquarters in New York to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to draft the Youth Declaration of Human Rights. This program was so successful that students lobbied to make the conference an annual event that would be scheduled to coincide closely with Human Rights Day (December 10th). The annual UN Student Conference on Human Rights has taken place every year since.

While the theme of the conference changes each year, the goals of this annual event remain the same: to promote awareness and learning and to prompt action among student leaders about human rights in general, as well as the specific rights issues related to the current year’s theme. The conference is also an opportunity for student leaders to network and develop important leadership skills such as public speaking, team and consensus building, negotiating, and research and drafting. Finally, the conference provides participants with first-hand experience in using information technologies such as video-conferencing and web-casting.