Wednesday, July 4, 2012

From the Bookshelves: Making the Chinese Mexican, Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora, and Disenchanting Citizenship

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Making the Chinese Mexican Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by Grace Peña Delgado 2012

Making the Chinese Mexican is the first book to examine the Chinese diaspora in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. It presents a fresh perspective on immigration, nationalism, and racism through the experiences of Chinese migrants in the region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Navigating the interlocking global and local systems of migration that underlay Chinese borderlands communities, the author situates the often-paradoxical existence of these communities within the turbulence of exclusionary nationalisms. The world of Chinese fronterizos (borderlanders) was shaped by the convergence of trans-Pacific networks and local arrangements: against a backdrop of national unrest in Mexico and in the era of exclusionary immigration policies in the United States, Chinese fronterizos carved out vibrant, enduring communities that provided a buffer against virulent Sinophobia. This book challenges us to reexamine the complexities of nation-making, identity formation, and the meaning of citizenship. It represents an essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

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Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora by Daniel Kanstroom 2012

Since 1996, when new, harsher deportation laws went into effect, the United States has deported millions of noncitizens back to their countries of origin. While the rights of immigrants-with or without legal status--as well as the appropriate pathway to legal status are the subject of much debate, hardly any attention has been paid to what actually happens to deportees once they "pass beyond our aid." In fact, we have fostered a new diaspora of deportees, many of whom are alone and isolated, with strong ties to their former communities in the United States. Daniel Kanstroom, author of the authoritative history of deportation, Deportation Nation, turns his attention here to the current deportation system of the United States and especially deportation's aftermath: the actual effects on individuals, families, U.S. communities, and the countries that must process and repatriate ever-increasing numbers of U.S. deportees. Few know that once deportees have been expelled to places like Guatemala, Cambodia, Haiti, and El Salvador, many face severe hardship, persecution and, in extreme instances, even death. Addressing a wide range of political, social, and legal issues, Kanstroom considers whether our deportation system "works" in any meaningful sense. He also asks a number of under-examined legal and philosophical questions: What is the relationship between the "rule of law" and the border? Where do rights begin and end? Do (or should) deportees ever have a "right to return"? After demonstrating that deportation in the U.S. remains an anachronistic, ad hoc, legally questionable affair, the book concludes with specific reform proposals for a more humane and rational deportation system. For a radio interview of Kanstroom about the book, click here.

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Disenchanting Citizenship:  Mexican Migrants and the Boundaries of Belonging
by
Luis F.B. Plascencia

Central to contemporary debates in the United States on migration and migrant policy is the idea of citizenship, and this issue remains a focal point of contention. In Disenchanting Citizenship, Luis F. B. Plascencia examines two interrelated issues: U.S. citizenship and the Mexican migrants' position in the United States.  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. He argues 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.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2012/07/from-the-bookshelves--1.html

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