Have you ever felt out of place, like a complete stranger? Have you ever moved to a new city where you do not know anyone? Have you ever lacked a place to call your own? Now imagine all of this and that you are from a country with a different language and customs. When you move to a new country, you must constantly question what locals consider appropriate social interaction. Moving to a new country requires checking your assumptions. You need to be fast on your feet and learn to adapt quickly to a new set of situations considered mundane…

By Ernesto Castañeda

06/26/19 The Globe Post

Immigration activists stage a protest. Photo: Alex Wong, AFP

For hundreds of years, the United States has applied Montesquieu’s idea about the division of powers into three branches of government: the executive, the legislative, and judicial, creating an effective system of checks and balances to temper tendencies towards the tyranny of the majority or despotic rule.

The current attacks against immigrants by the executive and backed up by Republican legislators can only be held in check by the legislative, a change of elected officials, or social movements.

The impending decision of the Supreme Court regarding DACA will be a real test about…

01.08.2021 |


Seguidores del presidente Donald Trump protestan frente al Capitolio AFP

La división en la sociedad estadounidense alcanzó un punto álgido este miércoles durante el asalto al Capitolio de Washington D.C. por parte de cientos de seguidores del presidente saliente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, que lograron superar los cordones policiales y entrar en el edificio. Este ataque a la sede de las dos Cámaras del Congreso estadounidense ha subrayado que aún queda mucho para que cicatricen las heridas en la democracia del país.

Expertos consultados por RTVE.es afirman que este episodio, que ha sido “una vergüenza nacional”, puede servir como una vacuna para reforzar…

by Curtis Smith, Carina Cione, Deziree Jackson, and Ernesto Castañeda

On November 11, 2020, Dee Margo, Mayor of the city of El Paso, Texas told national audiences on Good Morning America that he did not need any additional resources to help the city deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases before adding, “our population is 85% Hispanic and we’re four times more prevalent to being hospitalized because of COVID than any other normal [pause] occasions (sic). We are a highly vulnerable population.” He blamed the negative impact of the pandemic on El Pasoans while simultaneously denying the need for further…

By Emma Vetter, Sarah McCarthy, Ernesto Castañeda, and Carina Cione

President Obama speaking about immigration policy on May 10, 2011. Photo by Castañeda.

Texas is a well-known Republican stronghold and has been for decades. The state of Texas has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1976 (Wilson 2020). Republicans have controlled the Statehouse for the past 18 years, and it has not elected a Democrat for 26 years (Rayasam 2020; Wilson 2020). However, with a growing minority population who tend to vote Democrat rather than Republican and Texas Democrats fundraising at historic highs, pollsters predicted that Texas could be a closer race in the 2020 presidential election than in years past (Gramlich…

The first 100 days and beyond

By Ernesto Castañeda and Daniel Jenks

Joe Biden’s mantra of Build Back Better implies that not only will he reverse Trump’s many disastrous immigration policies, or just a return to a perception of “normalcy,” but that he would make changes for the best. The Biden-Harris administration should propose much more progressive policy than that from the Obama-era. Most of those who voted for Biden want him to go further to fix the problems of the refugee and asylum system.

Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Biden’s First 100 Days

As a candidate, Joe Biden promised to reinstate the Deferred Action…

Curtis Smith and Ernesto Castañeda

Scholars Strategy Network

Nearly forty years ago, the U.S. government began defunding social support services. Over the last several months, the COVID-19 pandemic put the consequences of these funding decisions at the center of public debate. Following these cuts in the 1980s, rates of homelessness in the United States increased so significantly (800% in places like Chicago) that researchers have since called the change “The New Homelessness.” These stark rates of homelessness have maintained since the budget cuts were made and threaten to worsen as the country attempts to recover from the ongoing pandemic.


Edited by Patty Housman for American University’s College of Arts and Sciences

With former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. projected to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election, thoughts have turned to what a Biden-Harris administration could mean for our nation. We asked faculty members to share their predictions for the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, science, the environment, race and racial health inequities, the arts, immigration, the Arab World, the US military, and more. (Please note that all thoughts and opinions belong solely to each author.)

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Melissa Hawkins, Director of AU’s Public Health Scholars Program

The pandemic response…

Por Paloma de Salas Nov 2, 2020 para RTVE.es

Donald Trump y Joe Biden han redoblado los esfuerzos para movilizar a sus bases en la recta final de la campaña de las elecciones en Estados Unidos. Ante una cita incierta y con un electorado cada vez más cambiante, los candidatos a la Presidencia llevan meses pidiendo la participación para lograr la victoria.

Estos son los votantes a los que tiene que persuadir cada candidato:

Clase obrera, blancos y evangélicos, el nicho de Trump

En 2016, Trump logró la victoria gracias al apoyo de la clase obrera, hombres blancos, especialmente aquellos con una menor formación y residentes en zonas rurales…

U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC © Castañeda

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville traveled from France to United States. Based on his interviews, direct observations, and research, he wrote the book Democracy in America. He described with awe the new political system: democracy based on public consent rather than divine right, tradition, or pure force. He was particularly impressed by how white men treated each other as equals in public and how Americans came together to form associations to solve problems in common. …

Ernesto Castañeda

Ernesto Castañeda is the author of “A Place to Call Home” and “Building Walls.”

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