January 2, 2007
Let's start the New Year off with one of the most important issues from last year, one that will not, nor should, "disappear" this year. ImmigrationProf Blog co-editors and UC-Davis law profs Bill Ong Hing and Kevin R. Johnson recently distibuted The Immigrant Rights Marches of 2006 and the Prospects for a New Civil Rights Movement on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In the spring of 2006, hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and immigrants peacefully marched in the streets of cities across the country. Such mass demonstrations advocating for the rights of immigrants are unprecedented in American history. Energy, enthusiasm, and a deep sense of urgency filled the air. The immigrant rights movement initially spread like wildfire. A second wave followed the initial protests. By the summer of 2006, however, there were signs that the immigrant rights movement had lost steam. A series of marches on and around Labor Day attracted far fewer people than those just a few months before. After much skirmishing during the summer, Congress failed to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
This Article focuses on the efficacy of a new, multiracial civil rights movement seeking social justice. We discern decidedly mixed signals about the possibility of such a movement. Despite some promising signs, there are many formidable hurdles before the emergence of a new, multiracial civil rights movement. Among the first hurdles is defining the scope of any movement. Who will participate if there is to be a new civil rights movement? Will it be a Latina/o civil rights movement or a broader one including African Americans? Will the movement address more than immigrant rights? And just who will be its leaders?
Part I of this Article outlines the context and meaning of the 2006 immigration marches and identifies the conspicuous absence of African Americans from the marches. The absence is consistent with the fact that immigration historically has been an issue dividing African Americans, Latina/os, and Asian Americans. Part II analyzes some central features of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the last relatively successful and broad-based mass social movement in America. Partly in response to broad-based political activism, the courts and political branches of government assisted in bringing forth social transformation. Part III considers the potential for a new civil rights movement. We opine that much work will need to be done before a multiracial movement for social change can be created. Specifically, African American-Latina/o conflict will need to be addressed before meaningful social change can be secured. Ultimately, it is unclear whether the immigrant marches will morph into anything more.
Bill Hing's Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy is one of several important works published last year:
- Hing's Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy
- Motomura's Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States
- Bosniak's The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership
- Zolberg's A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America
- Portes & Rumbaut's Immigrant Amercia: A Portrait, 3d ed.
Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy
by Bill Ong Hing
List Price: $28.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (October 16, 2006)
Book Description: In the past three decades, images of undocumented immigrants pouring across the southern border have driven the immigration debate and policies have been implemented in response to those images. The Oklahoma City bombings and the tragic events of September 11, both of questionable relevance to immigration policy have provided further impetus to implement strategies that are anti-immigration in design and effect. This book discusses the major immigration policy areas - undocumented workers, the immigration selection system, deportation of aggravated felons, national security and immigration policy, and the integration of new Americans - and the author suggests his own proposals on how to address the policy challenges from a perspective that encourages us to consider the moral consequences of our decisions. The author also reviews some of the policies that have been put forth and ignored and suggests new policies that would be good for the country economically and socially.
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (September 14, 2006)
Book Description: America is unquestionably a nation of immigrants. And yet throughout its history the practicalities of immigration have inspired more questions than consensus. Who should be admitted? What should the path to citizenship be? Despite national security concerns over enemies penetrating our borders, the number of foreign-born people living in the United States grew to 35 million in 2005, an all-time high. A coherent and rational immigrant policy is more necessary than ever. In Americans in Waiting, Hiroshi Motomura discovers in our national past a simple yet powerful approach to immigration and citizenship. Rewriting the conventional story, Motomura uncovers how for over 150 years, many immigrants were immediately put on track to U.S. citizenship. They were eligible to homestead land on the western frontier and entitled to overseas diplomatic protection. Citizens-to-be were even allowed to vote. In sum, immigration was assumed to be a transition to citizenship, and immigrants were future citizens-Americans in waiting. Once central to law and policy, this view has all but vanished. Beginning in the early twentieth century, the United States began to treat its immigrants in one of two ways: as signatories to a "contract" that sets the terms of their stay in this country, or as "affiliates" who can earn rights only as they become, over time, enmeshed in the nation's life. Immigration is now seen too often as a problem to be solved, rather than a pillar of our nation's strength. A panoramic history of the past 200 years of immigration and citizenship in the United States, Americans in Waiting offers a clear lesson: only by recovering this lost of history of immigration can we ensure that both current and future citizens share in the sense of belonging that is crucial to full participation in American life.
The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership
by Linda Bosniak
List Price: $29.95
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 21, 2006)
Book Description: Citizenship presents two faces. Within a political community it stands for inclusion and universalism, but to outsiders, citizenship means exclusion. Because these aspects of citizenship appear spatially and jurisdictionally separate, they are usually regarded as complementary. In fact, the inclusionary and exclusionary dimensions of citizenship dramatically collide within the territory of the nation-state, creating multiple contradictions when it comes to the class of people the law calls aliens--transnational migrants with a status short of full citizenship. Examining alienage and alienage law in all of its complexities, The Citizen and the Alien explores the dilemmas of inclusion and exclusion inherent in the practices and institutions of citizenship in liberal democratic societies, especially the United States. In doing so, it offers an important new perspective on the changing meaning of citizenship in a world of highly porous borders and increasing transmigration.
As a particular form of noncitizenship, alienage represents a powerful lens through which to examine the meaning of citizenship itself, argues Linda Bosniak. She uses alienage to examine the promises and limits of the "equal citizenship" ideal that animates many constitutional democracies. In the process, she shows how core features of globalization serve to shape the structure of legal and social relationships at the very heart of national societies.
A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America
by Aristide R. Zolberg
List Price: $39.95
Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (April 30, 2006)
Book Description: According to the national mythology, the United States has long opened its doors to people from across the globe, providing a port in a storm and opportunity for any who seek it. Yet the history of immigration to the United States is far different. Even before the xenophobic reaction against European and Asian immigrants in the late nineteenth century, social and economic interest groups worked to manipulate immigration policy to serve their needs. In A Nation by Design, Aristide Zolberg explores American immigration policy from the colonial period to the present, discussing how it has been used as a tool of nation building.
A Nation by Design argues that the engineering of immigration policy has been prevalent since early American history. However, it has gone largely unnoticed since it took place primarily on the local and state levels, owing to constitutional limits on federal power during the slavery era. Zolberg profiles the vacillating currents of opinion on immigration throughout American history, examining separately the roles played by business interests, labor unions, ethnic lobbies, and nativist ideologues in shaping policy. He then examines how three different types of migration--legal migration, illegal migration to fill low-wage jobs, and asylum-seeking--are shaping contemporary arguments over immigration to the United States.
A Nation by Design is a thorough, authoritative account of American immigration history and the political and social factors that brought it about. With rich detail and impeccable scholarship, Zolberg's book shows how America has struggled to shape the immigration process to construct the kind of population it desires.
Immigrant America: A Portrait
by Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut
Third edition. Revised, Expanded, and Updated
Publisher: University of California Press (October 2006)
$55.00, 978-0-520-24283-8 hardcover
$21.95, 978-0-520-25041-3 paperback
Book Description: This third edition of the widely acclaimed classic has been thoroughly expanded and updated to reflect current demographic, economic, and political realities. Drawing on recent census data and other primary sources, Portes and Rumbaut have infused the entire text with new information and added a vivid array of new vignettes and illustrations.Recognized for its superb portrayal of immigration and immigrant lives in the United States, this book probes the dynamics of immigrant politics, examining questions of identity and loyalty among newcomers, and explores the psychological consequences of varying modes of migration and acculturation. The authors look at patterns of settlement in urban America, discuss the problems of English-language acquisition and bilingual education, explain how immigrants incorporate themselves into the American economy, and examine the trajectories of their children from adolescence to early adulthood. With a vital new chapter on religion--and fresh analyses of topics ranging from patterns of incarceration to the mobility of the second generation and the unintended consequences of public policies--this updated edition is indispensable for framing and informing issues that promise to be even more hotly and urgently contested as the subject moves to the center of national debate.
In reviewing this work for Law and Politics Book Review ImmigrationProf Blog co-editor and UC Davis Law Professor Kevin Johnson wrote: a “must read” for any serious student of immigration law and policy. .... Immigrant America offers a full and fair portrait of the population of immigrants in the contemporary United States. It deserves a wide readership and true consideration in the debate over reform of immigration laws. Put simply, Alejandro Portes and Rubén Rumbaut’s important book adds much need factual information and thoughtful analysis to one of the most pressing public policy issues of our time.
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