American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural ChangeThis reference work covers American immigration from both historical and contemporary perspectives, tracing the scope and sweep of U.S. immigration from the earliest settlement to the present day. Major immigrant groups are examined through analysis of social, legal, political, economic, and demographic factors. Hot-topic current issues and controversies—from amnesty to U.S. border security—are also covered.
American Immigration and Citizenship by John R. Vile (Editor)One of the most contentious issues in America today is the status of immigration. American Immigration and Citizenship shows that this issue is far from new. In this book, John Vile provides context for contemporary debates on the topic through key historical documents presented alongside essays that interpret their importance for the reader. The author concludes that a highly-interconnected world presents no easy answers and offers no single immigration policy that will work for all time. The book includes a mix of laws, constitutional provisions, speeches, and judicial decisions from each period. Vile furthermore traces the interconnections between issues of citizenship and issues of immigration, indicating that public opinion and legislation has often contained contradictory strains. Although the primary focus has been on national laws and decisions, some of the readings clearly indicate the stakes that states, which are often affected disproportionately by such laws, have also had in this process.
Border Brokers : Children of Mexican Immigrants Navigating U. S. Society, Laws, and PoliticsSome 16.6 million people nationwide live in mixed-status families, containing a combination of U.S. citizens, residents, and undocumented immigrants. U.S. immigration governance has become an almost daily news headline. Yet even in the absence of federal immigration reform over the last twenty years, existing policies and practices have already been profoundly impacting these family units. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in San Diego over more than a decade, Border Brokers documents the continuing deleterious effects of U.S. immigration policies and enforcement practices on a group of now young adults and their families. In the first book-length longitudinal study of mixed-status families, Christina M. Getrich provides an on-the-ground portrayal of these young adults' lives from their own perspectives and in their own words. More importantly, Getrich identifies how these individuals have developed resiliency and agency beginning in their teens to improve circumstances for immigrant communities. Despite the significant constraints their families face, these children have emerged into adulthood as grounded and skilled brokers who effectively use their local knowledge bases, life skills honed in their families, and transborder competencies. Refuting the notion of their failure to assimilate, she highlights the mature, engaged citizenship they model as they transition to adulthood to be perhaps their most enduring contribution to creating a better U.S. society. An accessible ethnography rooted in the everyday, this book portrays the complexity of life in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. It offers important insights for anthropologists, educators, policy-makers, and activists working on immigration and social justice issues.
The Criminalization of Immigration: Truth, Lies, Tragedy, and Consequences by Robert Hartmann McNamaraThis book offers a comprehensive understanding of past and current immigration policy in the United States and exposes falsehoods in the rhetoric and narrative portraying Latino and Mexican immigrants in the U.S. Much support for intensified immigration enforcement and deportation is based on repeated statements by federal officials, including the U.S. president, that immigrants pose a threat to national security, contribute to crime, and take jobs away from native-born residents. The evidence has consistently concluded that these narratives are inaccurate. This text examines white nationalism as a backdrop to understanding the rationale behind current immigration policy and tactics. It examines how political and economic factors, broadly defined as neoliberal policies, shape the immigration narrative. It addresses the criminal justice system's applicability to immigration, law enforcement efforts, problems with immigration courts and judges, and how the detention of immigrants is part of a larger mass incarceration of people of color. Finally, the text offers insight into the reasons for massive migration, with the U.S. contributing to the problem by supporting regimes that endorse or allow humanitarian crisis.
The Deportation Machine by Adam GoodmanThe unknown history of deportation and of the fear that shapes immigrants' lives Constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century. The Deportation Machine traces the long and troubling history of the US government's systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants over the past 140 years. This provocative, eye-opening book provides needed historical perspective on one of the most pressing social and political issues of our time. In a sweeping and engaging narrative, Adam Goodman examines how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. He reveals how authorities have singled out Mexicans, nine out of ten of all deportees, and removed most of them not by orders of immigration judges but through coercive administrative procedures and calculated fear campaigns. Goodman uncovers the machine's three primary mechanisms--formal deportations, "voluntary" departures, and self-deportations--and examines how public officials have used them to purge immigrants from the country and exert control over those who remain. Exposing the pervasive roots of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, The Deportation Machine introduces the politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and ordinary citizens who have pushed for and profited from expulsion. This revelatory book chronicles the devastating human costs of deportation and the innovative strategies people have adopted to fight against the machine and redefine belonging in ways that transcend citizenship.
Immigration by Scott London; Mary EngalThe immigration issue affects virtually every American, directly or indirectly, often in deeply personal ways. This guide is designed to help people deliberate together about how we should approach the issue. The three options presented here reflect different ways of understanding what is at stake and force us to think about what matters most to us when we face difficult problems that involve all of us and that do not have perfect solutions. The US government essentially shut down immigration, at least temporarily, during the coronavirus pandemic. But as our country begins to reopen, difficult questions remain: Should we strictly enforce the law and deport people who are here without permission, or would deporting millions of people outweigh their crime? Should we welcome more newcomers to build a more vibrant and diverse society, or does this pose too great a threat to national unity? Should we accept more of the millions of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing gang violence and war, or should we avoid the risk of taking in people whose backgrounds may not have been fully checked? Should our priority be to help immigrants assimilate into our distinctively American way of life and insist they learn English, or should we instead celebrate a growing mosaic of different peoples? The concerns that underlie this issue are not confined to party affiliation, nor are they captured by labels such as "conservative" or "liberal." The research involved in developing the guide included interviews and conversations with Americans from all walks of life, as well as surveys of nonpartisan public-opinion research, subject-matter scans, and reviews of initial drafts by people with direct experience with the subject. About National Issues Forum The National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of organizations that brings together citizens around the nation to talk about pressing social and political issues of the day. Thousands of community organizations, including schools, libraries, churches, civic groups, and others, have sponsored forums designed to give people a public voice in the affairs of their communities and their nation. For more information about NIF and for additional publications, see NIF's website at www.nifi.org.
Opinions Throughout History: ImmigrationThis new series from Grey House offers in-depth, single volumes that follow the debate, or path, to a decision on a controversial topic as it evolved throughout history. Each volume offers a wide range of opinion essays and editorials, speeches, and journal articles and expert analysis.
Socially Undocumented by Amy Reed-SandovalWhat does it really mean to be "undocumented," particularly in the contemporary United States? Political philosophers, immigration policy makers, and others have tended to define the term "undocumented migrant" legalistically - that is, in terms of lacking legal authorization to live and workin one's current country of residence. In Socially Undocumented, Reed-Sandoval challenges this "legalistic understanding" by arguing that being socially undocumented is to possess a real, visible, and embodied social identity that does not always track one's legal status. She further argues thatachieving immigration justice in the U.S. (and elsewhere) requires a philosophical understanding of the racialized, class-based, and gendered components of socially undocumented identity and oppression.Socially Undocumented offers a new vision of immigration justice by integrating a descriptive and phenomenological account of socially undocumented identity with a normative and political account of how the oppression with which it is associated ought to be dealt with as a matter of social justice.It also addresses concrete ethical challenges such as the question of whether open borders are morally required, the militarization of the Mexico-U.S. border, the perilous journey that many migrants undertake to get to the United States, the difficult experiences of the women who cross U.S. bordersseeking prenatal care while pregnant, and more.
The Walls Within by Sarah R. ColemanA history of the battles over US immigrants' rights since 1965--and how these conflicts reshaped access to education, employment, civil liberties, and more The 1965 Hart-Celler Act transformed the American immigration system by abolishing national quotas in favor of a seemingly egalitarian approach. But subsequent demographic shifts resulted in a backlash over the social contract and the rights of citizens versus noncitizens. In The Walls Within, Sarah Coleman explores those political clashes, focusing not on attempts to stop immigration at the border, but on efforts to limit immigrants' rights within the United States through domestic policy. Drawing on new materials from the Carter, Reagan, and Clinton administrations, and immigration and civil rights organizations, Coleman exposes how the politics of immigration control has undermined the idea of citizenship for all. Coleman shows that immigration politics was not just about building or tearing down walls, but about employer sanctions, access to schools, welfare, and the role of local authorities in implementing policies. In the years after 1965, a rising restrictionist movement sought to marginalize immigrants in realms like public education and the labor market. Yet throughout the 1970s and 1980s, restrictionists faced countervailing forces committed to an expansive notion of immigrants' rights. In the 1990s, with national politics gridlocked, anti-immigrant groups turned to statehouses to enact their agenda. Achieving strength at the local level, conservatives supporting immigration restriction actually acquired more influence under the Clinton presidency than even during the so-called Reagan revolution, resulting in dire consequences for millions of immigrants. Revealing the roots behind much of today's nativist sentiment, The Walls Within examines debates about who is entitled to the American dream, and how such dreams can be subverted for those already calling the country home.
America for Americans by Erika LeeThis definitive history of American xenophobia is "essential reading for anyone who wants to build a more inclusive society." (Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times-bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist). The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In America for Americans, Erika Lee shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their "strange and foreign ways." Americans' anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America. Forcing us to confront this history, Lee explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America. Now updated with an afterword reflecting on how the coronavirus pandemic turbocharged xenophobia, America for Americans is an urgent spur to action for any concerned citizen.
American Immigration: a Very Short Introduction by David A. GerberAmericans have come from every corner of the globe, and they have been brought together by a variety of historical processes - conquest, colonialism, the slave trade, territorial acquisition, and voluntary immigration. A thoughtful look at immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and themotivations and experiences of the migrants themselves, this book offers a compact but wide-ranging look at one of America's persistent hot-button issues.Historian David Gerber begins by examining the many legal efforts to curb immigration and to define who is and is not an American, ranging from the Naturalization Law of 1795 (which applied only to "free-born white persons") to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, andthe reform-minded Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which opened the door to millions of newcomers, the vast majority from Asia and Latin America. The book also looks at immigration from the perspective of the migrant - farmers and industrial workers, mechanics and domestics, highly trainedprofessionals and small-business owners - who willingly pulled up stakes for the promise of a better life. Throughout, the book sheds light on the relationships between race and ethnicity in the life of these groups and in the formation of American society, and it stresses the marked continuitiesacross waves of immigration and across different racial and ethnic groups.A fascinating and even-handed historical account, this book puts into perspective the longer history of calls for stronger immigration laws and the on-going debates over the place of immigrants in American society.
Desperately Seeking Asylum: Testimonies of Trauma, Courage, and LoveTold through heart-wrenching testimonies, photographs, and artwork of refugees fleeing their homelands, Desperately Seeking Asylum describes firsthand accounts of the harrowing and dangerous journey immigrants are willing to endure knowing that they might not even make it onto US soil. Desperately Seeking Asylum prioritizes the testimonies of refugee families and unaccompanied children who are seeking asylum in the United States from Central America, primarily Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Their desperate and heart-wrenching stories disclose why they fled their homelands, their experiences along the treacherous overland journey, and the harsh reality of how the United States treats these families and children upon arrival to the United States. It critiques US complicity to the violence they are fleeing and discloses how national leadership shapes US immigration policies and practices, including the blatant documented violations against asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border. Most notably, it offers transparency on US immigration practices at the US-Mexico border which violate existing US and international laws that are intended to protect asylum seekers, including the current official practice of blocking bridges with "turnbacks" to prevent "inadmissibles" from applying for asylum in the United States. It explains protections mandated by US law for unaccompanied children who are in US custody, and discloses violations which keep these children detained excessive lengths of time in substandard for-profit facilities which are overseen by the government and funded by taxpayers. Boursier also deconstructs the complicated asylum process, including examining the credible fear for asylum procedure, showing how technical terms and language are used to justify injustice at the border. Desperately Seeking Asylum offers hope for a new vision with alternative options and practical actions which assist migrants through humanitarian aid on both sides of the border. The witness for compassionate and responsible response by people of conscious becomes an antidote to injustice against asylum seekers. Instead of the current administration manipulating US laws to support its ulterior motives and political agenda, Boursier asks readers to hold US elected officials accountable to the same "Rule of Law" that the United States demands of refugees. Ultimately, Boursier suggests a spectrum of options for practical ways to make the political personal through public witness and civic engagement to transform the broken immigration process for refugees who are desperately seeking asylum.
Reinventing Free Labor : Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880-1930One of the most infamous villains in North America during the Progressive Era was the padrone, a mafia-like immigrant boss who allegedly enslaved his compatriots and kept them uncivilized, unmanly, and unfree. In this history of the padrone, first published in 2000, Gunther Peck analyzes the figure's deep cultural resonance by examining the lives of three padrones and the workers they imported to North America. He argues that the padrones were not primitive men but rather thoroughly modern entrepreneurs who used corporations, the labour contract, and the right to quit to create far-flung coercive networks. Drawing on Greek, Spanish, and Italian language sources, Peck analyzes how immigrant workers emancipated themselves using the tools of padrone power to their own advantage.
The White Devil's Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco's ChinatownA revelatory history of the trafficking of young Asian girls that flourished in San Francisco during the first hundred years of Chinese immigration (1848-1943) and an in-depth look at the "safe house" that became a refuge for those seeking their freedom Beginning in 1874, the Occidental Mission Home on the edge of San Francisco's Chinatown served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of enslaved and vulnerable young Chinese women and girls. Run by a courageous group of female abolitionists who fought the slave trade in Chinese women, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violence directed against its occupants and supporters. With compassion and an investigative historian's sharp eye, Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists who challenged the corrosive anti-Chinese prejudices of the time and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the home defied contemporary convention--even occasionally breaking the law--by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked or by snatching them off ships as they were being smuggled in--and how they helped bring the exploiters to justice. She also shares the moving stories of many of the girls and young women who sought refuge at the mission, and she writes about the lives they went on to lead. This is a remarkable chapter in an overlooked part of our history, told with sympathy and vigor.