Hi, I’m Sukhraj Singh from Sikh Archive and welcome to the 49th episode of our Podcast series of conversations with historians, authors, academics, researchers and activists on topics related to their areas of expertise on Sikh or Panjabi history.
In this episode, we are joined by Jessica Ordaz, who is a professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of the book, The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity, which fascinated me to host this conversation for two reasons.
First, Akaal Security, a Sikh private security company, administered this detention facility in El Centro for a long time and it came to my attention a couple of years ago when the ICE stories were going viral. Secondly, in 2019, a six-year-old girl from Punjab, Gurpreet Kaur, died of a heat stroke in the Arizona desert on the US-Mexico border after her mother went in search of water during a border crossing.
This episode is dedicated to Gurpreet Kaur and her family.