Remittance Urbanism in the United States
This chapter explores Chicago as the mirror image of remittance landscapes and as a quintessential “arrival” city for migrants. Chapter 6 argues that “remittance urbanism” defines contemporary U.S. cities. Three critical spatial practices in Chicago—the creation of migrant solidarities through the development of HTA and Federation meeting halls (namely, Casa Michoacán and Casa Jalisco), the building of Mexican sports arenas and their subsequent events, and funeral homes and cemeteries in relation to migrant death and burial practices—provide a “negative” of the remittance landscapes examined in previous chapters. These material practices of solidarity, representation, and return change the conversation about migrants’ role in the American city. Rather than focusing how migrants negotiate living in the shadows of American cities, here migrants operate as agents of place-making. This chapter situates discourses on diaspora, migrant civil society, and the borderlands in the specific material and urban contexts of Chicago.
Keywords: remittance urbanism, Chicago, Hometown Associations, HTAs, casas, diaspora, borderlands, transnational, migrant activism