Lawyering an Uncertain Cause
Immigration Advocacy and Chinese Youth in the US
In and beyond the legal realm, the figure of the "vulnerable Chinese child" powerfully legitimates legal claims and attorneys' efforts. At the same time, the transnational ambitions and obligations of Chinese youth implicitly unsettle this figure. The maneuvers of these youth not only belie attorneys' reliance on racialized discourses of childhood and the Chinese family, but they also reveal more broad uncertainties around legal frameworks, institutional practices, health and labor rights—and cause lawyering itself.
Based on three years of fieldwork across the United States, Lawyering an Uncertain Cause is a novel study of the complex and often contradictory rights, responsibilities, and expectations that motivate global youth and the American attorneys who work on their behalf.