Collecting the diverse perspectives of scholars, labor organizers, and human-rights advocates, Accountability across Borders is the first edited collection that connects studies of immigrant integration in host countries to accounts of transnational migrant advocacy efforts, including case studies from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Covering the role of federal, state, and local governments in both countries of origin and destinations, as well as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), these essays range from reflections on labor solidarity among members of the United Food and Commercial Workers in Toronto to explorations of indigenous students from the Maya diaspora living in San Francisco. Case studies in Mexico also discuss the enforcement of the citizenship rights of Mexican American children and the struggle to affirm the human rights of Central American migrants in transit. As policies regarding immigration, citizenship, and enforcement are reaching a flashpoint in North America, this volume provides key insights into the new dynamics of migrant civil society as well as the scope and limitations of directives from governmental agencies.
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.
Questions over immigration and asylum face almost all Western countries. Should only economically useful immigrants be allowed? What should be done with unwanted or 'illegal' immigrants? In this bold and original intervention, Alexandra Hall shows that immigration detention centres offer a window onto society's broader attitudes towards immigrants.
Despite periodic media scandals, remarkably little has been written about the everyday workings of the grassroots immigration system, or about the people charged with enacting immigration policy at local levels. Detention, particularly, is a hidden side of border politics, despite its growing international importance as a tool of control and security. This book fills the gap admirably, analysing the everyday encounters between officers and immigrants in detention to explore broad social trends and theoretical concerns.
This highly topical book provides rare insights into the treatment of the 'other' and will be essential for policy makers and students studying anthropology and sociology.
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.
Winner of the Ray Allen Billington PrizeWinner of the Ellis W. Hawley PrizeWinner of the Sally and Ken Owens AwardWinner of the Vincent P. DeSantis Book PrizeWinner of the Caroline Bancroft History Prize“A powerful argument about racial violence that could not be more timely.”—Richard White“A riveting, beautifully written account…that foregrounds Chinese voices and experiences. A timely and important contribution to our understanding of immigration and the border.”—Karl Jacoby, author of Shadows at DawnIn 1885, following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. The Chinese Must Go shows how American immigration policies incited this violence, and how this gave rise to the concept of the “alien” in America.Our story begins in the 1850s, before federal border control established strict divisions between citizens and aliens—and long before Congress passed the Chinese Restriction Act, the nation’s first attempt to bar immigration based on race and class. When this unprecedented experiment failed to slow Chinese migration, armed vigilante groups took the matter into their own hands. Fearing the spread of mob violence, policymakers redoubled their efforts to seal the borders, overhauling immigration law and transforming America’s relationship with China in the process. By tracing the idea of the alien back to this violent era, Lew-Williams offers a troubling new origin story of today’s racialized border.“The Chinese Must Go shows how a country that was moving, in a piecemeal and halting fashion, toward an expansion of citizenship for formerly enslaved people and Native Americans, came to deny other classes of people the right to naturalize altogether…The stories of racist violence and community shunning are brutal to read.”—Rebecca Onion, Slate
The book explores the meaning of U.S. citizenship through the experience of a unique group of Mexican migrants who were granted Temporary Status under the “legalization” provisions of the 1986 IRCA, attained Lawful Permanent Residency, and later became U.S. citizens. Plascencia integrates an extensive and multifaceted collection of interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, ethno-historical research, and public policy analysis in examining efforts that promote the acquisition of citizenship, the teaching of citizenship classes, and naturalization ceremonies. Ultimately, he unearths citizenship’s root as a Janus-faced construct that encompasses a simultaneous process of inclusion and exclusion. This notion of citizenship is mapped on to the migrant experience, arguing that the acquisition of citizenship can lead to disenchantment with the very status desired. In the end, Plascencia expands our understanding of the dynamics of U.S. citizenship as a form of membership and belonging.
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.
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. A young Mexican woman, Mercedes, leaves her village to work as a housemaid in New Orleans. This fast-paced novel takes us 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.
Arriving in the 1990s with a ninth grade education, N. traveled to Chicago where he found access to ESL 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 legal documentation. Travel concerns made promotions impossible. 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."
Southwest Book Award, Border Regional Library Association, 2011
Although popularly conceived as a relatively recent phenomenon, patterns of immigrant smuggling and undocumented entry across American land borders first emerged in the late nineteenth century. Ingenious smugglers and immigrants, long and remote boundary lines, and strong push-and-pull factors created porous borders then, much as they do now.
Historian Patrick Ettinger offers the first comprehensive historical study of evolving border enforcement efforts on American land borders at the turn of the twentieth century. He traces the origins of widespread immigrant smuggling and illicit entry on the northern and southern United States borders at a time when English, Irish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Lebanese, Japanese, Greek, and, later, Mexican migrants created various "backdoors" into the United States. No other work looks so closely at the sweeping, if often ineffectual, innovations in federal border enforcement practices designed to stem these flows.
From upstate Maine to Puget Sound, from San Diego to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, federal officials struggled to adapt national immigration policies to challenging local conditions, all the while battling wits with resourceful smugglers and determined immigrants. In effect, the period saw the simultaneous "drawing" and "erasing" of the official border, and its gradual articulation and elaboration in the midst of consistently successful efforts to undermine it.
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.
A compelling union of analysis and rich storytelling, Making the Immigrant Soldier traces the complexities of serving in the military in order to pursue the American dream.
Multiethnic Japan challenges the received view of Japanese society as ethnically homogeneous. Employing a wide array of arguments and evidence--historical and comparative, interviews and observations, high literature and popular culture--John Lie recasts modern Japan as a thoroughly multiethnic society.Lie casts light on a wide range of minority groups in modern Japanese society, including the Ainu, Burakumin (descendants of premodern outcasts), Chinese, Koreans, and Okinawans. In so doing, he depicts the trajectory of modern Japanese identity.Surprisingly, Lie argues that the belief in a monoethnic Japan is a post–World War II phenomenon, and he explores the formation of the monoethnic ideology. He also makes a general argument about the nature of national identity, delving into the mechanisms of social classification, signification, and identification.
Undocumented migration is a huge global phenomenon, yet little is known about the reality of life for those involved. Sans Papiers combines a contemporary account of the theoretical and policy debates with an in-depth exploration of the lived experiences of undocumented migrants in the UK from Zimbabwe, China, Brazil, Ukraine and Turkish Kurdistan.
Built around their voices, the book provides a unique understanding of migratory processes, gendered experiences and migrant aspirations. Moving between the uniqueness of individual experience and the search for commonalities, the book explores the ambiguities and contradictions of being an undocumented migrant.
With its insights into personal experiences alongside analysis of wider policy issues, Sans Papiers will have wide appeal for students, academics, policy-makers and practitioners.
"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.
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.
Undocumented Dominican Migration is the first comprehensive study of boat migration from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. It brings together the interactive global, cultural, and personal factors that induce thousands of Dominicans to journey across the Mona Passage in attempts to escape chronic poverty. The book provides in-depth treatment of decision-making, experiences at sea, migrant smuggling operations, and U.S. border enforcement. It also explores several topics that are rare in migration studies. These include the psychology of migrant motivation, religious beliefs, corruption and impunity, procreation and parenting, compulsive recidivism after failed attempts, social values in relation to law, marriage fraud, and the use of false documents for air travel from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States.
Frank Graziano’s extensive fieldwork among migrants, smugglers, and federal agencies provides an authority and immediacy that brings the reader close to the migrants’ experiences. The exhaustive research and multidisciplinary approach, highly readable narrative, and focus on lesser-known emigrants make Undocumented Dominican Migration an essential addition to public and academic debates about migration.
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.
2023 SANA Book Award, Society for the Anthropology of North America
2023 Honorable Mention, Outstanding Book Award NACCS Tejas Foco Award for Non-Fiction, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies
2022 Nonfiction Discovery Prize, Writers' League of Texas
An intimate portrayal of the hardships faced by an undocumented family navigating the medical and educational systems in the United States.
Claudia Garcia crossed the border because her toddler, Natalia, could not hear. Leaving behind everything she knew in Mexico, Claudia recounts the terror of migrating alone with her toddler and the incredible challenges she faced advocating for her daughter’s health in the United States. When she arrived in Texas, Claudia discovered that being undocumented would mean more than just an immigration status—it would be a way of living, of mothering, and of being discarded by even those institutions we count on to care.
Elizabeth Farfán-Santos spent five years with Claudia. As she listened to Claudia’s experiences, she recalled her own mother’s story, another life molded by migration, the US-Mexico border, and the quest for a healthy future on either side. Witnessing Claudia’s struggles with doctors and teachers, we see how the education and medical systems enforce undocumented status and perpetuate disability. At one point, in the midst of advocating for her daughter, Claudia suddenly finds herself struck by debilitating pain. Claudia is lifted up by her comadres, sent to the doctor, and reminded why she must care for herself.
A braided narrative that speaks to the power of stories for creating connection, this book reveals what remains undocumented in the motherhood of Mexican women who find themselves making impossible decisions and multiple sacrifices as they build a future for their families.
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