Monday, April 15, 2019

Immigrtaion Article of the Day: Citizenship Gaps by D. Carolina Núñez



Citizenship Gaps by D. Carolina Núñez , 54 Tulsa Law Review 301 (2019) (reviewing Kunal M. Parker, Marking Foreigners (2016), Carrie Hyde, Civic Longing (2017) & Richard Sobel, Citizenship as Foundation of Rights (2016))


The concept of citizenship is undeniably powerful. The terms “citizenship” and “citizen” evoke notions of belonging, participation, equality, civic duty, democracy, and virtually any other term associated with a well-functioning polity. In fact, the term “citizenship” often serves as a shorthand reference to an abstract sense of civic virtue and the right to exercise that civic virtue to shape the polity. Citizenship, as popularly imagined, is a fundamental element of our democracy.

These noble ideals, however, do not necessarily map onto any legal definition of citizenship, nor do they accurately depict the experience of many U.S. citizens who find themselves without equal access to the tools of civic engagement. Indeed, the gaps between citizenship as we imagine it, citizenship as legally constructed, and citizenship as we experience it are wide. Perhaps more concerning are the gaps between diverse groups’ conceptions of citizenship, both in their imaginations and experiences of citizenship. The gaps between how insider groups and outsider groups imagine citizenship and experience citizenship highlight the vast inequality of citizenship that has historically existed and continues to exist in the United States.

Carrie Hyde, Richard Sobel, and Kunal Parker help expose and illuminate these gaps in their individual examinations of U.S. citizenship. When read together, these three authors’ works highlight our society’s and government’s repeated and disappointing failure to live up to the citizenship of our current and historical imagination. The authors, however, offer hope by illustrating the resiliency of our imagined citizenship, its potential positive influence on U.S. law, and the prospect of a narrowing gap in the way different groups experience citizenship.


April 15, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan (Author), Zach Weinersmith (Illustrator)


Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration  by Bryan Caplan (Author), Zach Weinersmith (Illustrator) (Forthcoming Oct. 2019)

Economist Bryan Caplan makes a bold case for unrestricted immigration in this fact-filled graphic nonfiction.

American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens.

But Bryan Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy―undeniably benefiting all of humanity.

With a clear and conversational tone, exhaustive research, and vibrant illustrations by Zach Weinersmith, Open Borders makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny.


April 9, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 8, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Defending Latina/o Immigrant Communities: The Xenophobic Era of Trump and Beyond by Alvaro Huerta


Defending Latina/o Immigrant Communities:  The Xenophobic Era of Trump and Beyond by Alvaro Huerta (June 2019)

Contributions by José Z. Calderón; Juan Gómez-Quiñones and Joaquin Montes Huerta

A collection of short essays and stories, Defending Latina/o Immigrant Communities: The Xenophobic Era of Trump and Beyond focuses on one of the most vilified, demonized, and scapegoated groups in the United States: Latina/o immigrants. Using his rigorous academic training, public policy knowledge, and community activist background, as well as his personal and familial experiences as the son of Mexican immigrants, Alvaro Huerta defends and humanizes los de abajo / those on the bottom. He skillfully re-frames how Latina/o immigrants should be viewed as productive and important members in this country, debunking the xenophobic tropes, lies, and myths about Latina/o immigrants as criminals, social burdens, and national security threats. Accompanied by the brilliant art of an internationally acclaimed artist, Salomon Huerta, and powerful photos of two established photographers, this book also investigates intersectional issues related to race, class, place, and state violence.


April 8, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 5, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Refuge beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers by David Scott Fitzgerald


Refuge beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers by David Scott FitzGerald

Media pundits, politicians, and the public are often skeptical or ambivalent about granting asylum. They fear that asylum-seekers will impose economic and cultural costs and pose security threats to nationals. Consequently, governments of rich, democratic countries attempt to limit who can approach their borders, which often leads to refugees breaking immigration laws.

In Refuge beyond Reach, David Scott FitzGerald traces how rich democracies have deliberately and systematically shut down most legal paths to safety. Drawing on official government documents, information obtained via WikiLeaks, and interviews with asylum seekers, he finds that for ninety-nine percent of refugees, the only way to find safety in one of the prosperous democracies of the Global North is to reach its territory and then ask for asylum. FitzGerald shows how the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia comply with the letter of law while violating the spirit of those laws through a range of deterrence methods -- first designed to keep out Jews fleeing the Nazis -- that have now evolved into a pervasive global system of "remote control." While some of the most draconian remote control practices continue in secret, Fitzgerald identifies some pressure points and finds that a diffuse humanitarian obligation to help those in need is more difficult for governments to evade than the law alone.

Refuge beyond Reach addresses one of the world's most pressing challenges -- how to manage flows of refugees and other types of migrants -- and helps to identify the conditions under which individuals can access the protection of their universal rights.


April 5, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Immigration Simulations: Looking Beyond Traditional Casebooks in Teaching Immigration Law


Guest Post by Immprof Regina Jefferies:

Despite the whiplash-inducing speed, frequency, and breadth of changes to immigration law over the last two years, administrative policy moves, field office procedural and substantive idiosyncrasies, the complex relationship between state and Federal authority, and the highly discretionary character of immigration enforcement far predate the current Administration (See Motomura, 2014). Teaching the practice and theory of immigration law thus poses numerous difficulties, particularly if approached as "knowledge transfer." Law and policy often change at the drop of a hat, as do the mechanisms and procedures lawyers have at their disposal to advocate on behalf of clients.

In light of this reality, Immigration Simulations: Bridge to Practice provides students with scenarios based upon real experiences and legal materials, while encouraging students to think critically and creatively in identifying and solving problems. The book is written as a novel and guided by directed questions and assignments, immersing students in the stories of real-life clients to provide a birds-eye view of the lawyering skills and substantive law involved in the practice of immigration law. The text follows two primary real-life client stories, designed to provide the experience of working a case from beginning to end. Several shorter, real-life client scenarios highlight particularly challenging aspects of substantive and procedural immigration practice as it stood at the beginning of 2018. As students bring a variety of prior knowledge, learning approaches, and even conceptions of learning to the classroom (Biggs, 1993), Immigration Simulations aids in priming student engagement, linking to self-identified prior knowledge, and sets the stage for open and critical discussion.

Students develop strategies and advise clients on potential courses of action in a diverse range of situations, using real case documents. The book encourages the development of critical thinking skills by inviting students to examine concepts and material in a wider context, and to test their understandings and think creatively about how to apply that knowledge in different scenarios (Ledoux & McHenry, 2004). Rather than working with a set of predetermined facts extracted from a legal opinion, students learn to cut through the noise and identify information to frame and develop cases. Not only do students demonstrate a deeper understanding of the material, they leave equipped to apply their knowledge and skills outside the classroom.

-KitJ posted on behalf of Regina Jefferies

March 31, 2019 in Books, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

From the Bookshelves: The Paper Lawyer by Carlos Cisneros


The Paper Lawyer by Carlos Cisneros.  Publication Date: March 31, 2019.

An attorney takes on her first criminal case in this legal thriller that explores identity, ethics and ambition.

Disgraced real-estate attorney Camila Harrison loses both her lucrative job as a partner in a well-known Austin law firm and her fiancé, a Texas Supreme Court Justice, when emails she sent to a client expressing her racist views are released to the media. She lands in Houston, practicing social security disability law and seeking criminal appointments in federal court.

All too soon she’s working her first federal criminal case, which involves an undocumented Mexican accused of money laundering. Harrison has no sympathy for illegal aliens and just wants to secure a plea deal quickly. The situation becomes more complicated when she gets to know the defendant, Vicente Aldama, and realizes he came to the US to work and pay for the life-saving surgery his young daughter desperately needs. When her private investigator discovers possible improprieties related to Aldama’s arrest, Harrison begins to seriously consider taking the case to trial despite the advice of colleagues and her complete lack of experience in defending high-stakes federal prosecutions.

Gripping, suspenseful and deeply moving, Cisneros’ uniquely original legal thriller asks questions about race, prejudice and the corruption that pervades American society, even as it proclaims to be the most advanced nation in the world with the best judicial system.


March 30, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 25, 2019

The promise and peril of the Dominican baseball pipeline

It is almost time for the opening of the Major League Baseball season.   As has been noted, the MLB has become increasingly Latinx, in no small part due to the pipeline of players from the Dominican Republic.

Rob Ruck on The Conversation looks at the pipeline of baseball players from the Dominican Republic. He notes that "Latinos will comprise about 30 percent of Major League Baseball rosters on Opening Day, in large part because MLB has systematized its recruiting and developmental programs in the Caribbean over the last 25 years." In his book Raceball, Ruck analyzed how this system operates: 

"[P]rospectors scour the Dominican Republic for the next nuggets of talent, the way players are selected and groomed at a young age, and the way a signing bonus in the thousands of dollars can transform an impoverished family’s life. Few Dominican ballplayers, however, actually make it to the big leagues. Enmeshed in a system that encourages them to specialize in baseball at an early age, they’re left with little to fall back on when baseball doesn’t pan out."

 The first generations of Dominican major league stars were players like Felipe Alou, Juan Marichal, and Manny Mota.  And, as they say, the rest is history.


March 25, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing


The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

  • For an outstanding debut literary work by a first-generation immigrant

  • Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books

  • To be awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years

  • Submissions for the 2019 Prize in Nonfiction are open from September 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 

  • The winner of the 2018 Prize in Fiction is Priyanka A. Champaneri for her novel The City of Good Death. Read more here.

  • The winner of the 2017 Prize in Nonfiction is Grace Talusan for her memoir The Body Papers. Read more here

  • The 2016 winner is Deepak Unnikrishnan for his novel Temporary People. Read more here.



The ethos of the modern world  is defined by immigrants. Their stories have always been an essential component of our cultural consciousness, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Isabel Allende, from Milan Kundera  to Maxine Hong Kingston. In novels, short stories, memoirs, and works of journalism, immigrants have shown us what resilience and dedication we’re capable of, and have expanded our sense of what it means to be global citizens. In these times of intense xenophobia, it is more important than ever that these boundary-crossing stories reach the broadest possible audience.

With that in mind, we are proud to present The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. We are looking for extraordinary unpublished submissions from emerging writers of sharp, culture-straddling writing that addresses identity in a global age. Each year, a distinguished panel of judges will select a winning manuscript to be published by Restless Books. We can’t wait to read and share what the new voices of the world have to say.

—Ilan Stavans, Publisher

Click here for details.


March 24, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Third Edition of Understanding Immigration Law Available in June 2019


A new edition of "Understanding Immigration Law" will be available in June 2019!

Understanding Immigration Law

Third Edition

by Kevin R. Johnson, Raquel Aldana, Bill Ong Hing, Leticia Saucedo, Enid Trucios-Haynes

Forthcoming June 2019 paper


The third edition of Understanding Immigration Law lays out the basics of U.S. immigration law in an accessible way to newcomers to the field. It offers background about the intellectual, historical, and constitutional foundations of U.S. immigration law. The book also identifies the factors that have historically fueled migration to the United States, including the economic "pull" of jobs and family in the United States and the "push" of economic hardship, political instability, and other facts of life in the sending country. Each chapter has been updated to analyze the unprecedented number of immigration enforcement measures—and many simply unprecedented measures—taken by the Trump administration, including but not limited to:

  • The various increased enforcement measures, including expanded detention (and the “end of catch-and-release”), workplace raids, and restoration of Secure Communities (which the Obama administration had dismantled);
  • The “zero tolerance” policy directed at Central American asylum seekers, including the policy to separate minors from parents in immigration detention centers;
  • The “Muslim”” or “travel ban” upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • The end of Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, and nationals of several other countries;
  • The attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy adopted by the Obama administration; and
  • The efforts to discourage state and local “sanctuary” policies that limit state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

The chapters further update the various chapters with Supreme Court immigration decisions, including the Court’s decision invalidating a removal ground on due process grounds (Sessions v. Dimaya (2018)) and invalidating a derivative citizenship rule for violating Equal Protection (Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2017)).

Complimentary Copy Request


March 22, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Daily Labors: Marketing Identity and Bodies on a New York City Street Corner by Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky


Daily Labors: Marketing Identity and Bodies on a New York City Street Corner by Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky

Read the Introduction (pdf).

On street corners throughout the country, men stand or sit together patiently while they wait for someone looking to hire un buen trabajador (a good worker). These day laborers are visible symbols of the changing nature of work—and the demographics of workers—in the United States.

Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky spent nearly three years visiting with African American men and Latino immigrant men who looked for work as day laborers at a Brooklyn street intersection. Her fascinating ethnography, Daily Labors, considers these immigrants and citizens as active participants in their social and economic life. They not only work for wages but also labor daily to institute change, create knowledge, and contribute new meanings to shape their social world.

Daily Labors reveals how ideologies about race, gender, nation, and legal status operate on the corner and the vulnerabilities, discrimination, and exploitation workers face in this labor market. Pinedo-Turnovsky shows how workers market themselves to conform to employers’ preconceptions of a “good worker” and how this performance paradoxically leads to a more precarious workplace experience. Ultimately, she sheds light on belonging, community, and what a “good day laborer” for these workers really is.


March 6, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

From the Bookshelves: The Eagle Has Eyes: The FBI Surveillance of César Estrada Chávez of the United Farm Workers Union of America, 1965–1975 by José Angel Gutiérrez


The Eagle Has Eyes The FBI Surveillance of César Estrada Chávez of the United Farm Workers Union of America, 1965–1975 by José Angel Gutiérrez

This book is the first of its kind to bring transparency to the FBI’s attempts to destroy the incipient Chicano Movement of the 1960s. While the activities of the deep state are current research topics, this has not always been the case. The role of the U.S. government in suppressing marginalized racial and ethnic minorities began to be documented with the advent of the Freedom of Information Act and most recently by disclosures of whistle blowers. This book utilizes declassified files from the FBI to investigate the agency’s role in thwarting Cesar E. Chavez’s efforts to build a labor union for farm workers and documents the roles of the FBI, California state police, and local police in assisting those who opposed Chavez. Ultimately, The Eagle Has Eyes is a must-read for academics and activists alike.


March 3, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 1, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Latino Professionals in American Testimonios of Policy, Perserverance and Success by Maria Chavez

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Latino Professionals in America Testimonios of Policy, Perseverance, and Success by Maria Chávez

In Latino Professionals in America, Maria Chávez combines rich qualitative interviews, auto-ethnographic accounts, and policy analysis to explore the converging oppressions that make it difficult for Latinos to become professionals, and to envision themselves as successful in those professions. Recounting her own story, Chávez interviews 31 Latino professionals from across the nation in a variety of occupations and careers, contextualizing their experiences amid family struggles and ongoing racism in the U.S. She addresses gender inequality within the Latino community, arguing that by defending, rationalizing or ignoring patriarchy within the Latino community perpetuates systems of oppression—especially for women, GLBTQ individuals, and others at the intersections. The experiences of these Latino professionals and the author’s analysis provide a blueprint for what works. One, both pragmatic and hopeful, that uses real lives to illustrate how a combination of public policies, people, and perseverance increases the presence of America’s fastest-growing demographic group in the professional class.


March 1, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia



February 28, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 11, 2019

From the Bookshelves: No Human Is Illegal: An Attorney on the Front Lines of the Immigration War by J. J. Mulligan Sepulveda

No Human Is Illegal: An Attorney on the Front Lines of the Immigration War by J. J. Mulligan Sepulveda

The perfect author on one of today’s hottest topics– an immigration reform lawyer’s journalistic memoir of being on the front lines of deportation.

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL is a powerful document of one lawyer’s fight for those seeking a better life in America against its ever-tightening borders. For author Mulligan Sepúlveda, the son and husband of Spanish-speaking immigrants, the battle for immigration reform is personal. Mulligan Sepúlveda writes of visiting border detention centers, defending undocumented immigrants in court, and taking his services to JFK to represent people being turned away at the gates during Trump’s infamous travel ban.

J. J. Mulligan Sepulveda is a UC Davis Law graduate and fellow at the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic.


February 11, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

From the Bookshelves: The Age of Walls: How Barriers Between Nations are Changing Our World by Tim Marshall


The Age of Walls:  How barriers Between Nations Are Changing Our World by Tim Marshall

The book analyzes the most urgent and tenacious topics in global politics and international relations by examining the borders, walls, and boundaries that divide countries and their populations.

The globe has always been a world of walls, from the Great Wall of China to Hadrian’s Wall to the Berlin Wall. But a new age of isolationism and economic nationalism is upon us, visible not just in Trump’s obsession with building a wall on the Mexico border or in Britain’s Brexit vote but in many other places as well. China has the great Firewall, holding back Western culture. Europe’s countries are walling themselves against immigrants, terrorism, and currency issues. South Africa has heavily gated communities, and massive walls or fences separate people in the Middle East, Korea, Sudan, India, and other places around the world.

In fact, at least sixty-five countries, more than a third of the world’s nation-states, have barriers along their borders. There are many reasons why walls go up, because we are divided in many ways: wealth, race, religion, and politics, to name a few. Understanding what is behind these divisions is essential to understanding much of what’s going on in the world today.

As with Marshall’s first two books, The Age of Walls is a brisk read, divided by geographic region. He provides an engaging context that is often missing from political discussion and draws on his real life experiences as a reporter from hotspots around the globe. He examines how walls (which Marshall calls “monuments to the failure of politics”), borders, and barriers have been shaping our political landscape for hundreds of years, and especially since 2001, and how they figure in the diplomatic relations and geo-political events of today.


February 6, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Deported Americans: Life after Deportation to Mexico by Beth C. Caldwell


Deported Americans: Life after Deportation to Mexico by Beth C. Caldwell, Duke University Press, April 2019.


When Gina was deported to Tijuana, Mexico, in 2011, she left behind her parents, siblings, and children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. Despite having once had a green card, Gina was removed from the only country she had ever known. In Deported Americans legal scholar and former public defender Beth C. Caldwell tells Gina's story alongside those of dozens of other Dreamers, who are among the hundreds of thousands who have been deported to Mexico in recent years. Many of them had lawful status, held green cards, or served in the U.S. military. Now, they have been banished, many with no hope of lawfully returning. Having interviewed over one hundred deportees and their families, Caldwell traces deportation's long-term consequences—such as depression, drug use, and homelessness—on both sides of the border. Showing how U.S. deportation law systematically fails to protect the rights of immigrants and their families, Caldwell challenges traditional notions of what it means to be an American and recommends legislative and judicial reforms to mitigate the injustices suffered by the millions of U.S. citizens affected by deportation.




About The Author

Beth C. Caldwell is Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills at Southwestern Law School and was formerly an attorney in the Los Angeles County Office of the Public Defender.


February 5, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 4, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together Hardcover by Andrew Selee


Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together Hardcover by Andrew Selee, 2018

Wall or no wall, deeply intertwined social, economic, business, cultural, and personal relationships mean the US-Mexico border is more like a seam than a barrier, weaving together two economies and cultures.

Mexico faces huge crime and corruption problems, but its remarkable transformation over the past two decades has made it a more educated, prosperous, and innovative nation than most Americans realize. Through portraits of business leaders, migrants, chefs, movie directors, police officers, and media and sports executives, Andrew Selee looks at this emerging Mexico, showing how it increasingly influences our daily lives in the United States in surprising ways--the jobs we do, the goods we consume, and even the new technology and entertainment we enjoy.

From the Mexican entrepreneur in Missouri who saved the US nail industry, to the city leaders who were visionary enough to build a bridge over the border fence so the people of San Diego and Tijuana could share a single international airport, to the connections between innovators in Mexico's emerging tech hub in Guadalajara and those in Silicon Valley, Mexicans and Americans together have been creating productive connections that now blur the boundaries that once separated us from each other.


February 4, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Mexico The Good Neighbor: Contracts, Betrayal and Survival in the Cold War by Soledad Quartucci

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Mexico The Good Neighbor: Contracts, Betrayal and Survival in the Cold War by Soledad Quartucci.  Published January 2019.

When Mexico joined other Latin American countries in declaring war on the Axis in June 1942, a wave of young Mexican citizens crossed the border to volunteer for service in the United States military. Over 300,000 Mexican Americans volunteered or were drafted into the military. They were recruited in farms and in high schools. They worked on railroads, in mines, in shipyards and airplane factories. These workers were crucial to the country’s wartime economy. Mexicans joined the ranks of the National Guard, the Army reserve, enlisted in the United States Military and signed Bracero agricultural agreements to fill the labor gap created by wartime. They relocated north providing a service to the United States and laying community roots in the process. They built barrios, neighborhoods that were underserved by government services and were dependent on strong social and family networks and on their Spanish press. In Los Angeles, the newspaper La Opinion, became an indispensable immigrant support and coping tool that helped Mexicans navigate a complex U.S. society in Cold War America. La Opinion editors and columnists felt a deep sorrow and sympathy for the suffering of Mexicans in the United States at a time when the barrios were surrounded by a hostile society that viewed them as dangerous, suspect to communism and as a public charge. La Opinion embraced braceros and welcomed its veterans fighting alongside them during the racially charged period of immigration exclusion that followed World War II. The Spanish press formed part of the complex network that supported Mexican labor migration in the U.S. Southwest. As an immigrant labor press, the paper recorded the history of the everyday lives of Mexican Americans during the Cold-War period. Mexico The Good Neighbor - treads new ground, seeking to contribute to studies of the Spanish press in the United States by analyzing the daily events that shaped Mexican-American politics, leisure and intimate relations in the World War II and Cold War period through the analysis of the key immigrant press, La Opinion.


February 2, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

From the Bookshelves: Islands of Sovereignty: Haitian Migration and the Borders of Empire by Jeffrey S. Kahn

Islands of Sovereignty:  Haitian Migration and the Borders of Empire by Jeffrey S. Kahn

University of Chicago Press, Chicago Series in Law and Society, Published January 2019
In Islands of Sovereignty, anthropologist and legal scholar Jeffrey S. Kahn offers a new interpretation of the transformation of US borders during the late twentieth century and its implications for our understanding of the nation-state as a legal and political form. Kahn takes us on a voyage into the immigration tribunals of South Florida, the Coast Guard vessels patrolling the northern Caribbean, and the camps of Guantánamo Bay—once the world’s largest US-operated migrant detention facility—to explore how litigation concerning the fate of Haitian asylum seekers gave birth to a novel paradigm of offshore oceanic migration policing. Combining ethnography—in Haiti, at Guantánamo, and alongside US migration patrols in the Caribbean—with in-depth archival research, Kahn expounds a nuanced theory of liberal empire’s dynamic tensions and its racialized geographies of securitization. An innovative historical anthropology of the modern legal imagination, Islands of Sovereignty forces us to reconsider the significance of the rise of the current US immigration border and its relation to broader shifts in the legal infrastructure of contemporary nation-states across the globe.

January 30, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 14, 2019

From the Bookshelves: : The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin

Border wall

The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America Hardcover – by Greg Grandin.   To be released March 2019

From a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall.

Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation―democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America has a new symbol: the border wall.

In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history―from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016. For centuries, he shows, America’s constant expansion―fighting wars and opening markets―served as a “gate of escape,” helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this deflection meant that the country’s problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back home.

It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism.


January 14, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)