In 1921 and 1924, the United States passed laws to sharply reduce the influx of immigrants into the country. By allocating only small quotas to the nations of southern and eastern Europe, and banning almost all immigration from Asia, the new laws were supposed to stem the tide of foreigners considered especially inferior and dangerous. However, immigrants continued to come, sailing into the port of New York with fake passports, or from Cuba to Florida, hidden in the holds of boats loaded with contraband liquor. Jews, one of the main targets of the quota laws, figured prominently in the new international underworld of illegal immigration. However, they ultimately managed to escape permanent association with the identity of the “illegal alien” in a way that other groups, such as Mexicans, thus far, have not.
In After They Closed the Gates, Libby Garland tells the untold stories of the Jewish migrants and smugglers involved in that underworld, showing how such stories contributed to growing national anxieties about illegal immigration. Garland also helps us understand how Jews were linked to, and then unlinked from, the specter of illegal immigration. By tracing this complex history, Garland offers compelling insights into the contingent nature of citizenship, belonging, and Americanness.
The city of Nogales straddles the border running between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. On the Mexican side, marginalized youths calling themselves Barrio Libre (Free 'Hood) employ violence, theft, and bribery to survive, often preying on undocumented migrants who navigate the city's sewer system to cross the US-Mexico border. In this book, Gilberto Rosas draws on his in-depth ethnographic research among the members of Barrio Libre to understand why they have embraced criminality and how neoliberalism and security policies on both sides of the border have affected the youths' descent into Barrio Libre.
Rosas argues that although these youths participate in the victimization of others, they should not be demonized. They are complexly and adversely situated. The effects of NAFTA have forced many of them, as well as other Mexicans, to migrate to Nogales. Moving fluidly with the youths through the spaces that they inhabit and control, he shows how the militarization of the border actually destabilized the region and led Barrio Libre to turn to increasingly violent activities, including drug trafficking. By focusing on these youths and their delinquency, Rosas demonstrates how capitalism and criminality shape perceptions and experiences of race, sovereignty, and resistance along the US-Mexico border.
Border Rhetorics is a collection of essays that undertakes a wide-ranging examination of the US-Mexico border as it functions in the rhetorical production of civic unity in the United States.
A “border” is a powerful and versatile concept, variously invoked as the delineation of geographical territories, as a judicial marker of citizenship, and as an ideological trope for defining inclusion and exclusion. It has implications for both the empowerment and subjugation of any given populace. Both real and imagined, the border separates a zone of physical and symbolic exchange whose geographical, political, economic, and cultural interactions bear profoundly on popular understandings and experiences of citizenship and identity.
The border’s rhetorical significance is nowhere more apparent, nor its effects more concentrated, than on the frontier between the United States and Mexico. Often understood as an unruly boundary in dire need of containment from the ravages of criminals, illegal aliens, and other undesirable threats to the national body, this geopolitical locus exemplifies how normative constructions of “proper”; border relations reinforce definitions of US citizenship, which in turn can lead to anxiety, unrest, and violence centered around the struggle to define what it means to be a member of a national political community.
Bernadette Marie Calafell / Karma R. Chávez / Josue David Cisneros / D. Robert DeChaine / Anne Teresa Demo / Lisa A. Flores / Dustin Bradley Goltz / Marouf Hasian Jr. / Michelle A. Holling / Julia R. Johnson / Zach Juatus / Diane M. Keeling / John Louis Lucaites / George F. McHendry Jr. / Toby Miller / Kent A. Ono / Brian L. Ott / Kimberlee Pérez / Mary Ann Villarreal
Connecting critical issues of state sovereignty with empirical concerns, Borderscapes interrogates the limits of political space. The essays in this volume analyze everyday procedures, such as the classifying of migrants and refugees, security in European and American detention centers, and the DNA sampling of migrants in Thailand, showing the border as a moral construct rich with panic, danger, and patriotism.
Conceptualizing such places as immigration detention camps and refugee camps as areas of political contestation, this work forcefully argues that borders and migration are, ultimately, inextricable from questions of justice and its limits.
Contributors: Didier Bigo, Institut d’Études Politiques, Paris; Karin Dean; Elspeth Guild, U of Nijmegen; Emma Haddad; Alexander Horstmann, U of Münster; Alice M. Nah, National U of Singapore; Suvendrini Perera, Curtin U of Technology, Australia; James D. Sidaway, U of Plymouth, UK; Nevzat Soguk, U of Hawai‘i; Decha Tangseefa, Thammasat U, Bangkok; Mika Toyota, National U of Singapore.
Prem Kumar Rajaram is assistant professor of sociology and social anthropology at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
Carl Grundy-Warr is senior lecturer of geography at the National University of Singapore.
Over the past ten years, more than 4,000 people have died while crossing the Arizona desert to find jobs, join families, or start new lives. Other migrants tell of the corpses they pass—bodies that are never recovered or counted.
Crossing With the Virgin collects stories heard from migrants about these treacherous treks—firsthand accounts told to volunteers for the Samaritans, a humanitarian group that seeks to prevent such unnecessary deaths by providing these travelers with medical aid, water, and food. Other books have dealt with border crossing; this is the first to share stories of immigrant suffering at its worst told by migrants encountered on desert trails.
The Samaritans write about their encounters to show what takes place on a daily basis along the border: confrontations with Border Patrol agents at checkpoints reminiscent of wartime; children who die in their parents’ desperate bid to reunite families; migrants terrorized by bandits; and hovering ghost-like above nearly every crossing, the ever-present threat of death.
These thirty-nine stories are about the migrants, but they also tell how each individual author became involved with this work. As such, they offer not only a window into the migrants’ plight but also a look at the challenges faced by volunteers in sometimes compromising situations—and at their own humanizing process.
Crossing With the Virgin raises important questions about underlying assumptions and basic operations of border enforcement, helping readers see past political positions to view migrants as human beings. It will touch your heart as surely as it reassures you that there are people who still care about their fellow man.
In 1996, Congress passed expansive laws to control illegal immigration, imposing mandatory detention and deportation for even minor violations. Critics argued that such legislation violated civil liberties and human rights; correspondingly, in 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that many facets of the 1996 statutes were unconstitutional. Michael Welch shows how what he calls "moral panic" led to the passage of the 1996 laws and the adverse effects they have had on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, producing a booming detainee population and an array of human rights violations. Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex offers sensible recommendations for reform along with an enlightened understanding of immigration. In an epilogue, Welch examines closely the government's campaign to fight terrorism at home, especially the use of racial profiling, mass detention, and secret evidence.Recently, the INS, particularly its enforcement and detention operations have expanded dramatically. This book will offer many readers their first look inside that system. It will be an invaluable guide to thinking through whether the system is fit to take on the additional responsibilities being asked of it in the post-September 11th world.
In this hybrid memoir, Alberto Ledesma wonders, At what point does a long-time undocumented immigrant become an American in the making? From undocumented little boy to “hyper documented” university professor, Ledesma recounts how even now, he sometimes finds himself reverting to the child he was, recalling his father’s words: “Mijo, it doesn’t matter how good you think your English is, la migra will still get you.”
Exploring Ledesma’s experiences from immigrant to student to academic, Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer presents a humorous, gritty, and multilayered portrait of undocumented immigrant life in urban America. Ledesma’s vignettes about life in the midst of ongoing social trauma give voice to a generation that has long been silent about its struggles. Delving into the key moments of cultural transition throughout his childhood and adulthood—police at the back door waiting to deport his family, the ex-girlfriend who threatens to call INS and report him, and the interactions with law enforcement even after he is no longer undocumented—Ledesma, through his art and his words, provides a glimpse into the psychological and philosophical concerns of undocumented immigrant youth who struggle to pinpoint their identity and community.
During the 2016 presidential campaign millions of voters, concerned about the economic impact of illegal immigration, rallied behind the notion of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Well into the Trump presidency, immigration endures as a hotly contested issue in United States politics.
In Dreams Derailed sociologist William A. Schwab shares the stories of immigration reform advocates and follows up on stories told in his 2013 book Right to DREAM, which argued in favor of the DREAM Act that would have provided conditional residency for undocumented youth brought to the United States as children, a version of which was later enacted by executive order and referred to as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
Taking as its focal point the Trump administration’s decision to rescind Obama-era DACA protection, Dreams Derailed delves into the economic, political, and social factors that inform the public conversation about immigration, making a clear case for the many benefits of inclusive policies and the protection of undocumented youths. Schwab also takes a close look at the factors that carried Donald Trump to the White House, demonstrates how economic upheaval and the issue of immigration influenced the 2016 presidential election, analyzes current immigration laws, and suggests next steps for reform.
The Fifth Sun
Mary Helen Lagasse Northwestern University Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3612.A38F54 2004 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Winner of the 3rd Annual Miguel Mármol Prize from Curbstone Press, Mary Helen Lagasse's The Fifth Sun is an inspiring story of an immigrant who struggles valiantly for a better life for herself and her family. The young Mexican woman, Mercedes, leaves her village to work as a housemaid in New Orleans. This fast-paced novel takes her through her adventures in New Orleans, her marriage, her struggle to raise her children, her deportation, and her attempt to re-cross the river and be reunited with her children.
This incisive volume combines two important issues in contemporary debates over migration: gender and illegal migration. The authors reconsider migration scholarship through the lens of gender in order to investigate definitions of citizenship and the differences in mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion for men and women. Additionally, through applying an interdisciplinary and comparative historical framework that spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the volume also produces a comprehensive account of illegal migration in nations and regions such as the United States, the Middle East, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Mexico, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the horn of Africa.
A day after N. first crossed the U.S. border from Mexico, he was caught and then released onto the streets of Tijuana. Undeterred, N. crawled back through a tunnel to San Diego, where he entered the United States forever. Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant is his timely and compelling memoir of building a new life in America. Authorial anonymity is required to protect this life.
Arriving in the 1990s with a 9th grade education, N. traveled to Chicago where he found access to ESL classes and GED classes. He eventually attended college and graduate school and became a professional translator.
Despite having a well-paying job, N. was isolated by a lack of official legal documentation. Travel concerns made big promotions out of reach. Vacation time was spent hiding at home, pretending that he was on a long-planned trip. The simple act of purchasing his girlfriend a beer at a Cubs baseball game caused embarrassment and shame when N. couldn't produce a valid ID. A frustrating contradiction, N. lived in a luxury high-rise condo but couldn't fully live the American dream. He did, however, find solace in the one gift America gave him–-his education.
Ultimately, N.’s is the story of the triumph of education over adversity. In Illegal he debunks the stereotype that undocumented immigrants are freeloaders without access to education or opportunity for advancement. With bravery and honesty, N. details the constraints, deceptions, and humiliations that characterize alien life "amid the shadows."
Every day, undocumented immigrants are rendered vulnerable through policies and practices that illegalize them. Moreover, they are socially constructed into dangerous criminals and taxpayer burdens who are undeserving of rights, dignity, and respect. Meghan Conley’s timely book, Immigrant Rights in the Nuevo South, seeks to expose and challenge these dehumanizing ideas and practices byexamining the connections between repression and resistance for unauthorized immigrants in communities across the American Southeast.
Conley uses on-the-ground interviews to describe fear and resistance from the perspective of those most affected by it. She shows how, for example, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act in Georgia prompted marches and an action that became “a day of non-compliance.” Likewise, an “enforcement lottery” that created unpredictable threats of arrest and deportation in the region mobilized immigrants to organize and demonstrate. However, as immigrant rights activists mobilize in opposition to the criminalization of undocumented people, they may unintentionally embrace stories of who deserves to be in the United States and who does not. Immigrant Rights in the Nuevo South explores these paradoxes while offering keen observations about the nature and power of Latinx resistance.
An in-depth look at the challenges undocumented immigrants face as they raise children in the U.S. There are now nearly four million children born in the United States who have undocumented immigrant parents. In the current debates around immigration reform, policymakers often view immigrants as an economic or labor market problem to be solved, but the issue has a very real human dimension. Immigrant parents without legal status are raising their citizen children under stressful work and financial conditions, with the constant threat of discovery and deportation that may narrow social contacts and limit participation in public programs that might benefit their children. Immigrants Raising Citizens offers a compelling description of the everyday experiences of these parents, their very young children, and the consequences these experiences have on their children's development. Immigrants Raising Citizens challenges conventional wisdom about undocumented immigrants, viewing them not as lawbreakers or victims, but as the parents of citizens whose adult productivity will be essential to the nation's future. The book's findings are based on data from a three-year study of 380 infants from Dominican, Mexican, Chinese, and African American families, which included in-depth interviews, in-home child assessments, and parent surveys. The book shows that undocumented parents share three sets of experiences that distinguish them from legal-status parents and may adversely influence their children's development: avoidance of programs and authorities, isolated social networks, and poor work conditions. Fearing deportation, undocumented parents often avoid accessing valuable resources that could help their children's development—such as access to public programs and agencies providing child care and food subsidies. At the same time, many of these parents are forced to interact with illegal entities such as smugglers or loan sharks out of financial necessity. Undocumented immigrants also tend to have fewer reliable social ties to assist with child care or share information on child-rearing. Compared to legal-status parents, undocumented parents experience significantly more exploitive work conditions, including long hours, inadequate pay and raises, few job benefits, and limited autonomy in job duties. These conditions can result in ongoing parental stress, economic hardship, and avoidance of center-based child care—which is directly correlated with early skill development in children. The result is poorly developed cognitive skills, recognizable in children as young as two years old, which can negatively impact their future school performance and, eventually, their job prospects. Immigrants Raising Citizens has important implications for immigration policy, labor law enforcement, and the structure of community services for immigrant families. In addition to low income and educational levels, undocumented parents experience hardships due to their status that have potentially lifelong consequences for their children. With nothing less than the future contributions of these children at stake, the book presents a rigorous and sobering argument that the price for ignoring this reality may be too high to pay.
Americans from radically different political persuasions agree on the need to “fix” the “broken” US immigration laws to address serious deficiencies and improve border enforcement. In Immigration Law and the US–Mexico Border, Kevin Johnson and Bernard Trujillo focus on what for many is at the core of the entire immigration debate in modern America: immigration from Mexico.
In clear, reasonable prose, Johnson and Trujillo explore the long history of discrimination against US citizens of Mexican ancestry in the United States and the current movement against “illegal aliens”—persons depicted as not deserving fair treatment by US law. The authors argue that the United States has a special relationship with Mexico by virtue of sharing a 2,000-mile border and a “land-grab of epic proportions” when the United States “acquired” nearly two-thirds of Mexican territory between 1836 and 1853.
The authors explain US immigration law and policy in its many aspects—including the migration of labor, the place of state and local regulation over immigration, and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the US economy. Their objective is to help thinking citizens on both sides of the border to sort through an issue with a long, emotional history that will undoubtedly continue to inflame politics until cooler, and better-informed, heads can prevail. The authors conclude by outlining possibilities for the future, sketching a possible movement to promote social justice. Great for use by students of immigration law, border studies, and Latino studies, this book will also be of interest to anyone wondering about the general state of immigration law as it pertains to our most troublesome border.
Border security and illegal immigration along the U.S.–Mexico border are hotly debated issues in contemporary society. The emergence of civilian vigilante groups, such as the Minutemen, at the border is the most recent social phenomenon to contribute new controversy to the discussion. The Law Into Their Own Hands looks at the contemporary nativist, anti-immigrant movement in the United States today.
Doty examines the social and political contexts that have enabled these civilian groups to flourish and gain legitimacy amongst policy makers and the public. The sentiments underlying the vigilante movement both draw upon and are channeled through a diverse range of organizations whose messages are often reinforced by the media. Taking action when they believe official policy is lacking, groups ranging from elements of the religious right to anti-immigrant groups to white supremacists have created a social movement.
Doty seeks to alert us to the consequences related to this growing movement and to the restructuring of our society. She maintains that with immigrants being considered as enemies and denied basic human rights, it is irresponsible of both citizens and policy makers to treat this complicated issue as a simple black or white reality.
In this solid and theoretically grounded look at contemporary, post-9/11 border vigilantism, the author observes the dangerous and unproductive manner in which private citizens seek to draw firm and uncompromising lines between who is worthy of inclusion in our society and who is not.
Looking for Loopholes is a detailed account of how illegal immigrants manage to integrate into Dutch society. Drawing on long-term research in the four largest cities in the Netherlands, van der Leun discusses illegal immigration's relationships with illegal employment and criminal involvement, as well as aspects of education, housing, health care and police surveillance. Throughout, she combines the perspectives of immigrants with that of those who implement policies to discourage them, revealing growing tensions between restrictive rules and day-to-day reality.
Winner of the 2017 International Latino Book Award for Best Nonfiction – Multi-Author
Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert addresses the tragic results of government policies on immigration. The contributors consist of a multidisciplinary group who are dedicated to the thousands of men, women, and children who have lost their lives while crossing the desert in search of a better life. Each chapter in this important new volume seeks answers to migrant deaths, speaking to the complexity of this tragedy via a range of community and scholarly approaches.
The activists, artists, and scholars included in this volume confront migrant deaths and disappearances in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as they reflect on the startling realities of death, migration, and public policy. Chapters touch on immigration and how it is studied, community responses to crisis, government policy, definitions of citizenship, and the role of the arts and human expression in response to state violence. Collectively the contributions throw a spotlight on the multivocal, transdisciplinary efforts to address the historical silence surrounding this human tragedy.
Despite numerous changes in the migration processes and growing attention to the problem, many people who attempt border crossings continue to disappear and die. This book offers a timely exploration of the ways that residents, scholars, activists, and artists are responding to this humanitarian crisis on their doorstep.
The pieces in this volume offer fresh approaches to a variety of debates over migration policy. The authors of these essays explore migration policymaking in ten European countries, looking at the way social scientists and politicians form and implement these policies. Migration Policymaking in Europe contains original insights and in-depth comparative analyses drawing on a variety of empirical evidence. By placing these policies in the context of historical relationships between nations, the editors of this book have put forth a vital new portrait of the principles guiding migration in Europe.
In this remarkable memoir, Tung Pok Chin casts light on the largely hidden experience of those Chinese who immigrated to this country with false documents during the exclusion era. Although scholars have pieced together their history, first-person accounts are rare and fragmented; many of the so-called "Paper Sons" lived out their lives in silent fear of discovery. Chin's story speaks for the many Chinese who worked in urban laundries and restaurants, but it also introduces an unusually articulate man's perspective on becoming Chinese American.
Chin's story begins in the early 1930s, when he followed the example of his father and countless other Chinese who bought documents that falsely identified them as children of Chinese Americans. Arriving in Boston and later moving to New York City, he worked and lived in laundries. Chin was determined to fit into American life and dedicated himself to learning English. But he also became an active member of key organizations -- a church, the Chinese Hand Laundrymen's Alliance, and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association -- that anchored him in the community. A self-reflective and expressive man, Chin wrote poetry commenting on life in China and the hardships of being an immigrant in the United States. His work was regularly published in the China Daily News and brought him to the attention of the FBI, then intent on ferreting out communists and illegal immigrants. His vigorous narrative speaks to the day-to-day anxieties of living as a Paper Son as well as the more universal immigrant experiences of raising a family in modest circumstances and bridging cultures.
Historian K. Scott Wong introduces Chin's memoir, discussing the limitations on immigration from China and what is known about Exclusion-era Chinese American communities. Set in historical context, Tung Pok Chin's unique story offers and engaging account of a twentieth-century Paper Son.
The DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation first introduced in Congress in 2001, would provide conditional residency for undocumented youth brought to the United States as children. It recognizes that undocumented youth have done nothing wrong and that they should be allowed to work, to go to school, and to travel. The bill makes college more affordable through in-state tuition and gives the undocumented a path to citizenship if they graduate from college or serve in the military. Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act, and fourteen states have filled the gap by implementing their own laws and policies that provide educational benefits to undocumented students. Right to DREAM makes a compelling argument for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. William A. Schwab explores the key issues surrounding this legislation: What are the issues that divide? What do the proponents and opponents of the DREAM Act argue? Is there a middle ground? Is compromise possible? Answering these questions, Schwab explains the legal issues surrounding the education of immigrant children, who immigrates and why, how four waves of immigration have shaped the nation, the effects of immigrants on the U.S. economy and culture, and the process of becoming an American. Schwab analyzes the DREAM Act, deferred action, and immigration policy. He weaves personal stories of undocumented youth throughout the book and advocates for the economic, political, and social benefits of the DREAM Act that would bring undocumented youth out of the shadows and into the mainstream of society.
In July 1999, Canadian authorities intercepted four boats off the coast of British Columbia carrying nearly six hundred Chinese citizens who were being smuggled into Canada. Government officials held the migrants on a Canadian naval base, which it designated a port of entry. As one official later recounted to the author, the Chinese migrants entered a legal limbo, treated as though they were walking through a long tunnel of bureaucracy to reach Canadian soil.
The “long tunnel thesis” is the basis of Alison Mountz’s wide-ranging investigation into the power of states to change the relationship between geography and law as they negotiate border crossings. Mountz draws from many sources to argue that refugee-receiving states capitalize on crises generated by high-profile human smuggling events to implement restrictive measures designed to regulate migration. Whether states view themselves as powerful actors who can successfully exclude outsiders or as vulnerable actors in need of stronger policies to repel potential threats, they end up subverting access to human rights, altering laws, and extending power beyond their own borders.
Using examples from Canada, Australia, and the United States, Mountz demonstrates the centrality of space and place in efforts to control the fate of unwanted migrants.
"Like articles representing the positions of proponents of the measure, those representing opponents constructing the nation as potentially in danger as a result of undocumented immigration."
How do we learn to recognize the damning effects of good rhetorical intentions? And where will we find arguments which escape this trap that permeates the liberal social policy world? Shifting Borders uses an evaluation of the debate over California Proposition 187 to demonstrate how this quandary is best understood by close interrogation of mainstream reports and debates and by bringing to the fore voices that are often left out of mediated discussions.
It is these voices outside the mainstream, so-called "outlaw" discourses, that hold the best possibilities for real social change. To illustrate their claim, the authors present dominant and outlaw discourses around Proposition 187, from television reports, internet chat sites, and religious discourse to coverage of the Los Angeles Times. Their critique ably demonstrates how difficult it is to maintain a position outside the mainstream, but also how important it is for the press, citizens and scholars to actively search out such voices. The findings are organized through a model that provides an innovative method for understanding events and arguments through their rhetorical and communicative construction. In a world where the mediated word defines so much of what we know, Shifting Borders provides a lucid introduction to analyzing the spoken and written word that constitutes political debate in contemporary U.S. culture. In doing so, it makes an important contribution to any future development of progressive political strategy.
Ko-Lin Chin Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress E184.C5C474 1999 | Dewey Decimal 304.873051
No one knows how many Chinese are being smuggled into the United States, but credible estimates put the number at 50,000 arrivals each year. Astonishing as this figure is, it represents only a portion of the Chinese illegally residing in the United States. Smuggled Chinese presents a detailed account of how this traffic is conducted and what happens to the people who risk their lives to reach Gold Mountain.
When the Golden Venture ran aground off New York's coast in 1993 and ten of the 260 Chinese on board drowned, the public outcry about human smuggling became front-page news. Probing into the causes and consequences of this clandestine traffic, Ko-lin Chin has interviewed more than 300 people -- smugglers, immigrants, government officials, and business owners -- in the United States, China, and Taiwan. Their poignant and chilling testimony describes a flourishing industry in which smugglers -- big and little snakeheads -- command fees as high as $30,000 to move desperate but hopeful men and women around the world. For many who survive the hunger, filthy and crowded conditions, physical and sexual abuse, and other perils of the arduous journey, life in the United States, specifically in New York's Chinatown, is a disappointment if not a curse. Few will return to China, though, because their families depend on the money and status gained by having a relative in the States.
In Smuggled Chinese, Ko-lin Chin puts a human face on this intractable international problem, showing how flaws in national policies and lax law enforcement perpetuate the cycle of desperation and suffering. He strongly believes, however, that the problem of human smuggling will continue as long as China's citizens are deprived of fundamental human rights and economic security.
Smuggled Chinese will engage readers interested in human rights, Asian and Asian American studies, urban studies, and sociology.
Threatening Others: Ris Lam#42
Carlos Sandoval-Garcia Ohio University Press, 2004 Library of Congress F1557.N5S26513 2004 | Dewey Decimal 305.868728507286
Winner of 2002 Costa Rican National Monograph Award
During the last two decades, a decline in public investment has undermined some of the national values and institutions of Costa Rica. The resulting sense of dislocation and loss is usually projected onto Nicaraguan “immigrants.”
Threatening Others: Nicaraguans and the Formation of National Identities in Costa Rica explores the representation of the Nicaraguan “other” in the Costa Rican imagery. It also seeks to address more generally why the sense of national belonging constitutes a crucial identification in contemporary societies. Interdisciplinary and based on extensive fieldwork, it looks critically at the “exceptionalism” that Costa Ricans take for granted and view as a part of their national identity.
Carlos Sandoval-García argues that Nicaraguan immigrants, once perceived as a “communist threat,” are now victims of an invigorated, racialized politics in which the Nicaraguan nationality has become an offense in itself.
Threatening Others is a deeply searching book that will interest scholars and students in Latin American studies and politics, cultural studies, and ethnic studies.
Examining how undocumented migrants are using film, video, and other documentary media to challenge surveillance, detention, and deportation
As debates over immigration increasingly become flashpoints of political contention in the United States, a variety of advocacy groups, social service organizations, filmmakers, and artists have provided undocumented migrants with the tools and training to document their experiences.
In The Undocumented Everyday, Rebecca M. Schreiber examines the significance of self-representation by undocumented Mexican and Central American migrants, arguing that by centering their own subjectivity and presence through their use of documentary media, these migrants are effectively challenging intensified regimes of state surveillance and liberal strategies that emphasize visibility as a form of empowerment and inclusion. Schreiber explores documentation as both an aesthetic practice based on the visual conventions of social realism and a state-administered means of identification and control.
As Schreiber shows, by visualizing new ways of belonging not necessarily defined by citizenship, these migrants are remaking documentary media, combining formal visual strategies with those of amateur photography and performative elements to create a mixed-genre aesthetic. In doing so, they make political claims and create new forms of protection for migrant communities experiencing increased surveillance, detention, and deportation.
The Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA), passed in the small Rustbelt city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 2006, was a local ordinance that laid out penalties for renting to or hiring undocumented immigrants and declared English the city’s official language. The notorious IIRA gained national prominence and kicked off a parade of local and state-level legislative initiatives designed to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
In his cogent and timely book, UndocumentedFears, Jamie Longazel uses the debate around Hazleton’s controversial ordinance as a case study that reveals the mechanics of contemporary divide and conquer politics. He shows how neoliberal ideology, misconceptions about Latina/o immigrants, and nostalgic imagery of “Small Town, America” led to a racialized account of an undocumented immigrant “invasion,” masking the real story of a city beset by large-scale loss of manufacturing jobs.
Offering an up-close look at how the local debate unfolded in the city that set off this broader trend, Undocumented Fears makes an important connection between immigration politics and the perpetuation of racial and economic inequality.
While Chicago has the second-largest Mexican population among U.S. cities, relatively little ethnographic attention has focused on its Mexican community. This much-needed ethnography of Mexicans living and working in Chicago examines processes of racialization, labor subordination, and class formation; the politics of nativism; and the structures of citizenship and immigration law. Nicholas De Genova develops a theory of “Mexican Chicago” as a transnational social and geographic space that joins Chicago to innumerable communities throughout Mexico. “Mexican Chicago” is a powerful analytical tool, a challenge to the way that social scientists have thought about immigration and pluralism in the United States, and the basis for a wide-ranging critique of U.S. notions of race, national identity, and citizenship.
De Genova worked for two and a half years as a teacher of English in ten industrial workplaces (primarily metal-fabricating factories) throughout Chicago and its suburbs. In Working the Boundaries he draws on fieldwork conducted in these factories, in community centers, and in the homes and neighborhoods of Mexican migrants. He describes how the meaning of “Mexican” is refigured and racialized in relation to a U.S. social order dominated by a black-white binary. Delving into immigration law, he contends that immigration policies have worked over time to produce Mexicans as the U.S. nation-state’s iconic “illegal aliens.” He explains how the constant threat of deportation is used to keep Mexican workers in line. Working the Boundaries is a major contribution to theories of race and transnationalism and a scathing indictment of U.S. labor and citizenship policies.