New Book on Chinese Youth and Immigration Advocacy

Michele Statz's picture

Dear colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Lawyering an Uncertain Cause: Immigration Advocacy and Chinese Youth in the U.S.(Vanderbilt University Press).

With public outrage rightfully centering on the U.S.’ treatment of young migrants and their families, this book explores critical and timely—yet largely unconsidered—dimensions of mobility and advocacy:

  • What are the motivations and perspectives of young migrants from regions other than Central America?
  • What compels (and constrains) the legal advocates who work on these youths’ behalf?
  • What are the long-term experiences of young migrants post-release—including the unanticipated consequences of a "successful" legal case?

Contextualized through histories of Chinese emigration, U.S. immigration policy, and ideologies of age and childhood, Lawyering an Uncertain Cause ethnographically traces the practices and aims of immigration cause lawyers alongside the transnational negotiations of their clients: young Chinese migrants who have been apprehended, designated “Unaccompanied,” and placed in removal proceedings. Bringing these perspectives together for the first time, this book subtly illuminates the consequential uncertainty at the heart of lawyering for and around youth mobility.

Written to be accessible and widely read, Lawyering an Uncertain Cause will appeal to scholars and students of immigration, the anthropologies of law and/or childhood, sociolegal studies, labor studies, rural “new destinations,” and Asian studies. It will also be useful to legal practitioners and law students, particularly those interested in immigration law, child welfare, and the legal profession.


"A humanistic, wonderfully written, engaging, and terribly important work of scholarship in a crucial area of research."

—Robert Barsky, author of Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law: The Flight and the Plight of People Deemed "Illegal”


List Price: $27.95

Available through Vanderbilt University Press and Amazon

ISBN10: 0826522092

ISBN13: 9780826522092