Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Books on the Economic Impacts of Immigration

Saturday, January 23, 2016

From the Bookshelves: The Law and Higher Education: Cases and Materials on Colleges in Court, Fourth Edition by Michael A. Olivas and Amy Gajda

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The Law and Higher Education: Cases and Materials on Colleges in Court, Fourth Edition by Michael A. Olivas and Amy Gajda

Now in its fourth edition, this book reflects the extraordinary growth in the law of higher education and the accompanying rise in scholarship and commentary on higher education law and governance. The case selection reflects major themes and issues. To this end, cases with interesting facts, news accounts of fascinating developments, and insights and articles from scholars and practitioners have also been used. The result is a unique book on a rapidly growing area of law and society. It is the most established and widely adopted casebook in the field. Updated with recent court cases and statutes, it can be used in law schools, in colleges of education, or in professional courses.

Michael Olivas, one of the so-authors, also is an influential immigration law scholar.

KJ

January 23, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco by Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr.

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Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco by Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr.

Born in an explosive boom and built through distinct economic networks, San Francisco has a cosmopolitan character that often masks the challenges migrants faced to create community in the city by the bay. Latin American migrants have been part of the city's story since its beginning. Charting the development of a hybrid Latino identity forged through struggle--latinidad--from the Gold Rush through the civil rights era, Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr. chronicles the rise of San Francisco's diverse community of Latin American migrants.

This latinidad, Summers Sandoval shows, was formed and made visible on college campuses and in churches, neighborhoods, movements for change, youth groups, protests, the Spanish-language press, and business districts. Using diverse archival sources, Summers Sandoval gives readers a panoramic perspective on the transformation of a multinational, multigenerational population into a visible, cohesive, and diverse community that today is a major force for social and political activism and cultural production in California and beyond.

KJ

 

January 12, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 11, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Human Trafficking by Cheryl Taylor Page, Robert William Piatt, Jr.

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Human Trafficking by Cheryl Taylor Page, Robert William Piatt, Jr. Forthcoming March 2016

Human Trafficking explores the legal, moral, and political attempts to contain sex and labor trafficking. The authors bring unique perspectives to these topics. Professor Page, an African-American woman all too familiar with the vestiges of slavery, has written and lectured internationally on trafficking. Professor Piatt, a Hispanic law professor and former law school dean, brings his international experience as an educator, author, and advocate regarding immigration and human rights matters to bear. The book considers efforts at containment, including controversial topics such as whether prostitution should be legalized. It concludes with specific approaches to eliminate trafficking.

KJ

January 11, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights by Liav Orgad

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 The Cultural Defense of Nations:  A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights

Liav Orgad

The changing patterns of contemporary immigration have initiated a new form of majority nationalism. In recent years, liberal democracies have introduced immigration and citizenship policies that are designed to defend the majority culture. This trend is fed by fears of immigration-some justified, some paranoid-which explain the rise of extreme right-wing parties in the West. Liberal theory and human rights law seem to be out of sync with these developments. While they recognize the rights of minority groups to maintain their cultural identity, it is typically assumed that majority groups have neither a need for similar rights nor a moral basis for defending them. The majority culture, so the argument goes, "can take care of itself." This singular book shifts the focus from the prevailing discussion of minority rights and, for the first time, directly addresses the cultural rights of majorities. The findings reveal a troubling trend in liberal democracies, which, ironically, in order to protect liberal values, violate the very same values. The book criticizes this state of affairs and presents a liberal theory of cultural defense that distinguishes between justifiable and unjustifiable attempts by majorities to protect their cultural essentials. It formulates liberal standards by which liberal states can welcome immigrants without fundamentally changing their cultural heritage, forsaking their liberal traditions, or slipping into extreme nationalism.

The Cultural Defense of Nations presents a timely, thought-provoking thesis on one of the most pressing issues of our time-immigrants, majority groups, and national identity.

KJ

December 29, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Refugee of the Day: Valentino Achak Deng (South Sudan)

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 Valentino Achak Deng, Co-founder of the Valentino Achak Deng (VAD) Foundation

Valentino Deng was born in Marial Bai in present-day South Sudan. He fled in the late 1980s during the second Sudanese civil war, when his village was destroyed by the militia murahaleen. He was among thousands of displaced youth, known as the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. Deng spent nine years in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, where he worked for the UNHCR as a social advocate and reproductive health educator. In 2001, he was resettled to Atlanta, GA. Deng has toured the U.S. speaking about his life in South Sudan, his experience as a refugee, and his collaboration with author Dave Eggers on What Is the What, the novelized version of Deng’s life story.

Deng and Eggers founded the VAD Foundation in 2006 to help rebuild South Sudanese communities by increasing educational access. 

 

 

Whatisthewhatbook

KJ

December 24, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

J.K. Rowling: The Trump is Voldemort!

Monday, December 21, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Refugees from Armed Conflict: The 1951 Refugee Convention and International Humanitarian Law by Vanessa Holzer

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Refugees from Armed Conflict: The 1951 Refugee Convention and International Humanitarian Law by Vanessa Holzer

Armed conflicts are a major cause of forced displacement, but people displaced by conflict are often not recognized as refugees under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. They are frequently considered as having fled from generalized violence rather than from persecution. This book determines the international meaning of the refugee definition in Article 1A(2) of the Convention as regards refugee protection claims related to situations of armed conflict in the country of origin. Although the human rights based interpretation of the refugee definition is widely accepted, the interpretation and application of the Convention as regards claims to refugee status that relate to armed conflict is often marred with difficulties. Moreover, contexts of armed conflict pose the question of whether and to what extent the refugee definition should be interpreted in light of international humanitarian law. This book identifies the potential and limits of this interpretative approach. Starting from the history of international refugee law, the book situates the 1951 Convention within the international legal framework for the protection of the individual in armed conflict. It examines the refugee definition in light of human rights, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law, focusing on the elements of the refugee definition that most benefit from this interpretative approach: persecution and the requirement that the refugee claimant's predicament must be causally linked to the race, religion, nationality, and/or membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

KJ

December 21, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy by Benjamin Powell, editor

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The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy by Benjamin Powell, editor, Oxford University Press 2015

The Economics of Immigration summarizes the best social science studying the actual impact of immigration, which is found to be at odds with popular fears. Greater flows of immigration have the potential to substantially increase world income and reduce extreme poverty. Existing evidence indicates that immigration slightly enhances the wealth of natives born in destination countries while doing little to harm the job prospects or reduce the wages of most of the native-born population. Similarly, although a matter of debate, most credible scholarly estimates of the net fiscal impact of current migration find only small positive or negative impacts. Importantly, current generations of immigrants do not appear to be assimilating more slowly than prior waves. Although the range of debate on the consequences of immigration is much narrower in scholarly circles than in the general public, that does not mean that all social scientists agree on what a desirable immigration policy embodies. The second half of this book contains three chapters, each by a social scientist who is knowledgeable of the scholarship summarized in the first half of the book, which argue for very different policy immigration policies. One proposes to significantly cut current levels of immigration. Another suggests an auction market for immigration permits. The third proposes open borders. The final chapter surveys the policy opinions of other immigration experts and explores the factors that lead reasonable social scientists to disagree on matters of immigration policy.

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction  Benjamin Powell

SOCIAL SCIENCE

2. The Economic Effects of International Labor Mobility  Peter T. Leeson and Zachary Gochenour

3. The Fiscal Impact of Immigration   Alex Nowrasteh

4. The Civic and Cultural Assimilation of Immigrants to the United States   Jacob Vigdor

5. Employment VISAs: An International Comparison Alexandre Padilla and Nicolás Cachanosky

PUBLIC POLICY

6. Immigration Reform: A Modest Proposal   Richard K. Vedder

7. Immigration's Future: A Pathway to Legalization and Assimilation  Herbert London

8. A Radical Case for Open Borders   Bryan Caplan and Vipul Naik

9. Conclusion: Alternative Policy Perspectives   Benjamin Powell

KJ

December 20, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Human Rights In Children’s Literature: Imagination And The Narrative Of Law by Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham

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Human Rights In Children’s Literature: Imagination And The Narrative Of Law by Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham, Oxford University Press 2015

How can children grow to realize their inherent rights and to respect the rights of others? And how are human rights norms disseminated so that they make a difference in children’s lives? In this book, Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham explore these questions through both human rights law and the texts much close to young people’s lives: children’s literature. Both international and domestic law affirm that children have rights. Human rights education research demonstrates that when children learn about human rights, they exhibit greater self-esteem and respect for the rights of others. The Convention on the Rights of the Child ─ the most widely-ratified human rights treaty ─ not only ensures that children have rights, it also requires that states make those rights "widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike." This first-of-its-kind requirement for a human rights treaty indicates that if rights are to be meaningful to the lives of children, then government and civil society must engage with those rights in ways that are relevant to children.

Human Rights in Children's Literature investigates children's rights under international law ─ identity and family rights, the right to be heard, the right to be free from discrimination, and other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights ─ and considers the way in which those rights are embedded in children's literature from Peter Rabbit to Horton Hears a Who! to Harry Potter. This book traverses children's rights law, literary theory, and human rights education to argue that in order for children to fully realize their human rights, they first have to imagine and understand them.

KJ

 

December 16, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 by Kunal M. Parker

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Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 by Kunal M. Parker, cambrige University Press 2015.

This book reconceptualizes the history of U.S. immigration and citizenship law from the colonial period to the beginning of the twenty-first century by joining the histories of immigrants to those of Native Americans, African Americans, women, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans, and the poor. Kunal Parker argues that during the earliest stages of American history, being legally constructed as a foreigner, along with being subjected to restrictions on presence and movement, was not confined to those who sought to enter the country from the outside, but was also used against those on the inside. Insiders thus shared important legal disabilities with outsiders. It is only over the course of four centuries, with the spread of formal and substantive citizenship among the domestic population, a hardening distinction between citizen and alien, and the rise of a powerful centralized state, that the uniquely disabled legal subject we recognize today as the immigrant has emerged. The book advances new ways of understanding the relationship between foreignness and subordination over the long span of American history.

KJ

December 15, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The El Mozote Massacre: Human Rights and Global Implications (Revised and Expanded Edition Revised Edition) by Dr. Leigh Binford

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The El Mozote Massacre: Human Rights and Global Implications Revised and Expanded Edition Revised Edition by Dr. Leigh Binford

 In 1981, more than a thousand civilians around El Mozote, El Salvador, were slaughtered by the country’s U.S.-trained army. The story was covered—and soon forgotten—by the international news media. In the first edition of The El Mozote Massacre, released in 1996, anthropologist Leigh Binford successfully restores a social identity to the massacre victims through his dissection of Third World human rights reporting and a rich ethnographic and personal account of El Mozote–area residents prior to the massacre.

Almost two decades later, the consequences of the massacre continue to reverberate through the country’s legal and socioeconomic systems. The El Mozote Massacre, 2nd Edition, which will be released in March 2016, brings together new evidence to address reconstruction, historical memory, and human rights issues resulting from what may be the largest massacre in modern Latin American history.

With a multitude of additions, including three new chapters, an extended chronology, discussion of the hearing and ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012, and evidence gathered throughout half a dozen field trips made by the author, Binford presents a current perspective on the effects of this tragic moment in history. Thanks to geographically expanded fieldwork, Binford offers critical discussion of postwar social, economic, religious, and social justice in El Mozote, and adds important new regional, national, and global contexts.

The El Mozote Massacre, 2nd Edition maintains the crucial presence of the massacre in human rights discussions for El Salvador, Latin America, and the world.

KJ

December 13, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales

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Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales, University of California Press, 2015

Over two million of the nation’s eleven million undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States since childhood. Due to a broken immigration system, they grow up to uncertain futures. In Lives in Limbo, Roberto G. Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college-goers, like Ricardo, who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and DREAM Act organizing but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation, and the early-exiters, like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connections in high school and started navigating dead-end jobs, immigration checkpoints, and a world narrowly circumscribed by legal limitations. This vivid ethnography explores why highly educated undocumented youth share similar work and life outcomes with their less-educated peers, despite the fact that higher education is touted as the path to integration and success in America. Mining the results of an extraordinary twelve-year study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, Lives in Limbo exposes the failures of a system that integrates children into K-12 schools but ultimately denies them the rewards of their labor.

KJ

 

December 10, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 7, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De León

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The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De León.   Michæl Wells (Photographer). University of California Press, 2015

In his gripping and provocative debut, anthropologist Jason De León sheds light on one of the most pressing political issues of our time—the human consequences of US immigration policyThe Land of Open Graves reveals the suffering and deaths that occur daily in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as thousands of undocumented migrants attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the United States.

Drawing on the four major fields of anthropology, De León uses an innovative combination of ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, and forensic science to produce a scathing critique of “Prevention through Deterrence,” the federal border enforcement policy that encourages migrants to cross in areas characterized by extreme environmental conditions and high risk of death. For two decades, this policy has failed to deter border crossers while successfully turning the rugged terrain of southern Arizona into a killing field.

In harrowing detail, De León chronicles the journeys of people who have made dozens of attempts to cross the border and uncovers the stories of the objects and bodies left behind in the desert.

The Land of Open Graves will spark debate and controversy.

KJ

December 7, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Violetta Armour, I'll Always Be With You

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Violetta Armour holds family close to her heart, a concept she hopes to share in her new book I’ll Always Be With You.” Drawing from her own experience as a first-generation American with Bulgarian roots, Armour tells the story of Teddy, a young boy who has lost his father and finds comfort in a book his great-grandfather carried with him to America. Through this life-changing book, Teddy embraces his origins and finds the peace of mind he’s been looking for. “I’ll Always Be With You” offers insight into the trials of facing racial tensions and prejudices while encouraging the celebration of culture and traditions.

KJ

November 10, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review: Ingrid Eagly on Crimmigration Law by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

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Book Review: Crimmigration Law by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, the American Bar Association 2015, 281 pages by Ingrid V. Eagly

Crimmigration Law, published by the American Bar Association earlier this year, is the first text book dedicated to exploring the connection between immigration law and criminal law in the United States. The book’s author, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, is one of the leading scholars in a growing field that studies the increasing merger of criminal justice and migration control. This new field, sometimes referred to as “crimmigration law,” reflects the on-the-ground reality of changes in law and practice that have blurred the lines between criminal and immigration enforcement. The immigration system is increasingly relying on criminal mechanisms, such as detention in prisons and jails, to enforce the immigration law. At the same time, the criminal system now plays a central role in adjudicating immigration status, including detecting noncitizens subject to deportation and advising defendants on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Crimmigration Law makes a grand entry as a foundational text. The book not only familiarizes readers with some of the key debates about immigration enforcement and the criminalization of migration, but it also provides an on-the-ground primer to the thorny doctrinal law that practitioners of immigration and criminal law must master. On the immigration law side, García Hernández shows his readers how deportation can result from criminal conduct or criminal convictions, and how detention is a tool that is increasingly being used to expand the deportation system. On the criminal law side, García Hernández reveals how immigrants face punitive sanctions in both the state and federal criminal justice systems for conduct such as unlawful entry into the country or possession of false documents. He also has an excellent chapter on the Sixth Amendment obligation of criminal defense counsel to advise noncitizens as to the potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Each chapter is supplemented by an informative bibliography of additional reading on the topic.

Readers of Crimmigration Lawwill benefit from the book’s thoughtful inclusion of practice-based problems that require application of the law to a realistic set of facts. For example, after discussing the important topic of how to defend against deportation (known as relief from removal), García Hernández presents readers with a detailed problem asking whether an immigrant convicted of burglary and married to a United States citizen could potentially qualify for adjustment of status (and thereby avoid deportation). Through immediate application, readers have the opportunity to practice what they just learned—and thereby deepen their understanding. These practical problems are further supplemented by helpful “practice pointers” that highlight the ways in which a practitioner should think about applying the book’s lessons in advising clients and litigating cases.

In sum, Crimmigration Law is a must-read for law students and practitioners seeking an introduction to the complex legal doctrine and practice challenges at the merger of immigration and criminal law. The text offers in one concise volume an overview of the most critical topics in both civil and criminal enforcement of immigration law. Thank you to García Hernández for this important contribution, which provides a valuable training tool for defenders of immigrant rights.

Ingrid Eagly is a Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy.

KJ

 

October 22, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 19, 2015

From the Bookshelves: We Too Sing America South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer

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We Too Sing America South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer (The New Press, 2015)

The nationally renowned racial justice advocate shines a light on an unexplored consequence of modern-day terrorism: the ongoing, state-sanctioned persecution of a range of American minorities.

Many of us can recall the targeting of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh people in the wake of 9/11. We may be less aware, however, of the ongoing racism directed against these groups in the past decade and a half.

In We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer catalogs recent racial flash points, from the 2012 massacre at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to the violent opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and to the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan.

Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance. She looks at topics including Islamophobia in the Bible Belt; the “Bermuda Triangle” of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria; and the energy of new reform movements, including those of “undocumented and unafraid” youth and Black Lives Matter.

In a book that reframes the discussion of race in America, a brilliant young activist provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America.

KJ

October 19, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Economics of Immigration Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy by Benjamin W. Powell

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The Economics of Immigration Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy by Benjamin W. Powell

Few topics in current affairs are as contentious as immigration. Yet despite the controversies, social scientists who study immigration largely agree about its effects, whatever differences they may have about how a nation should change its policies. Their findings, however, have been buried in academic journals accessible only to other scholars—until now.

With the publication of The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy, edited by Benjamin Powell, readers can now easily access the substance of the vast scholarly literature about a subject that touches millions of lives.

Combining rigor and readability, The Economics of Immigration offers important findings and bold ideas that will appeal to a variety of readers. General readers who absorb its lessons will be well equipped to dispel widespread myths about the effects of immigration. Policymakers and pundits will be struck by its non-partisan tone, and its clear-headed proposals capable of bridging the political divide. And scholars will appreciate the book’s reviews of numerous studies, all in one volume.

Part I summarizes and evaluates the literature on immigration and wages, employment, economic growth, government spending and revenues, cultural and civic assimilation, and work visas, with each chapter assessing the strengths and weaknesses of various studies, highlighting the best scholarship currently available, and discerning the overall scholarly consensus on each topic.

Part II features policy recommendations. These include a “market-based” approach designed to improve efficiency, fairness, and economic growth; a “pro-assimilation” approach that would reduce immigration but legalize immigrants who are in the United States illegally; and a “radical” case for an open borders, which draws on moral principles of various philosophical traditions as well as empirical research. The book concludes with the editor’s assessments of proposals put forth by six influential scholars.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Benjamin Powell

Part I: Social Science

2. The Economic Effects of International Labor Mobility
Peter Leeson and Zachary Gochenour
3. The Fiscal Impact of Immigration
Alex Nowrasteh
4. The Civic and Cultural Assimilation of Immigrants to the United States
Jacob Vigdor
5. Employment VISAs: An International Comparison
Alexandre Padilla and Nicolás Cachanosky

Part II: Public Policy

6. Immigration Reform: A Modest Proposal
Richard Vedder
7. Immigration’s Future: A Pathway to Legalization and Assimilation
Herbert London
8. A Radical Case for Open Borders
Bryan Caplan and Vipul Naik
9. Conclusion: Alternative Policy Perspectives
Benjamin Powell

KJ

October 18, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 12, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches by Marcia A. Zug

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Buying a Bride:  An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches by Marcia A. Zug, NYU Press 2015 

There have always been mail-order brides in America—but we haven’t always thought about them in the same ways. In Buying a Bride, Marcia A. Zug starts with the so-called “Tobacco Wives” of the Jamestown colony and moves all the way forward to today’s modern same-sex mail-order grooms to explore the advantages and disadvantages of mail-order marriage. It’s a history of deception, physical abuse, and failed unions. It’s also the story of how mail-order marriage can offer women surprising and empowering opportunities.

Drawing on a forgotten trove of colorful mail-order marriage court cases, Zug explores the many troubling legal issues that arise in mail-order marriage: domestic abuse and murder, breach of contract, fraud (especially relating to immigration), and human trafficking and prostitution. She tells the story of how mail-order marriage lost the benign reputation it enjoyed in the Civil War era to become more and more reviled over time, and she argues compellingly that it does not entirely deserve its current reputation. While it is a common misperception that women turn to mail-order marriage as a desperate last resort, most mail-order brides are enticed rather than coerced. Since the first mail-order brides arrived on American shores in 1619, mail-order marriage has enabled women to improve both their marital prospects and their legal, political, and social freedoms. Buying A Bride uncovers this history and shows us how mail-order marriage empowers women and should be protected and even encouraged.

Here is my review:

Buying a Bride is a history book like few others, a carefully-documented critical analysis of mail order marriages from the days of the Jamestown colony to modern times. The reader learns that mail order brides once were viewed positively -- and as an preferred alternative to colonists marrying Indian women. Later, mail order brides from the East helped settle the Western frontier, with mail order bride "expeditions" bringing women to California Marcia Zug persuasively and carefully demonstrates how throughout American history, conceptions of larger national imperatives, namely settlement of the frontier, marriage, and race deeply influenced American society's views of mail order brides. The changes have resulted in the radical transformation of the generally positive public opinion of such marital arrangements before the Civil War and increasingly negative views of the practice through to today. The public perception of the mail order brides changed, from the courageous woman embarking on a new life of opportunity to the modern conception of a mail order bride as an abused woman living in misery. Not coincidentally, today's modern mail order bride, especially immigrants from nations in Asia and the developing world, are viewed in very different ways than those of previous historical eras.

From a feminist perspective, Zug concludes that, despite significant risks, mail order marriages are typically beneficial and even liberating for women. Buying a Bride offers fresh new insights to anyone interested in love and marriage, race and immigration, and the fundamental transformation of American social life over the last 300 years.

KJ

October 12, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Refugees at Our Door

In the New York Times, author of the award winning book Enrique's Journey, Sonia Nazario, writes about how the United States is paying Mexico to keep Central Americans fleeing violence from reaching our border: 

"In the past 15 months, at the request of President Obama, Mexico has carried out a ferocious crackdown on refugees fleeing violence in Central America. The United States has given Mexico tens of millions of dollars for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 to stop these migrants from reaching the United States border to claim asylum.

Essentially the United States has outsourced a refugee problem to Mexico that is similar to the refugee crisis now roiling Europe. . . .

I went to Mexico last month to see the effects of the crackdown against migrants, who are being hunted down on a scale never seen before and sent back to countries where gangs and drug traffickers have taken control of whole sections of territory."

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Photo by Kate Orlinsky courtesy of the New York Times

KJ

October 12, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)