Georgia Law Associate Dean Cade on US-Mexico migration, enforcement, activism

Two works concerning migration, enforcement, and activism along the Southern border between United States and Mexico have just been published by Jason A. Cade, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning and Hosch Associate Professor here at the University of Georgia.

In 2020, the migrant death toll exceeded a ten-year high following a summer of record-setting heat, while at the same time, criminal prosecutions of humanitarian activists reached unprecedented levels. Cade has addressed this situation in:

“‘Water is Life!’ (and Speech!): Death, Dissent and Democracy in the Borderlands”, an article published at 96 Indiana Law Journal 261 (2020) (SSRN). Cade explored the communicative conduct of activists such as No More Deaths, whose work along the southern border aims not only to save lives but also to convey the message that all lives—including those of unauthorized migrants—are worth saving. Cade argued that the context around this expressive dissent necessitates First Amendment scrutiny of government attempts to suppress or punish it, and he further explained the broader implications for debate about the ethics of border policies.

“All the Border’s a Stage: Humanitarian Aid as Expressive Dissent”, in 84 Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Special Issue: Law and the Citizen 110 (Austin Sarat ed., 2020). In this related book chapter, Cade examined the conduct of border policy dissenters through the lens of competing narratives, advancing the claim that tolerance of disparate viewpoints—especially those that peacefully challenge the status quo—can be crucial for both the generation of democratic knowledge and coexistence in a diverse society.

Both works comprise part of a larger research project, in which Cade is advancing a framework for more ethical border policies.

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