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.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
From the Bookshelves: 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.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
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.
Monday, February 4, 2019
From the Bookshelves: Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together Hardcover by Andrew Selee
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.
Saturday, February 2, 2019
From the Bookshelves: Mexico The Good Neighbor: Contracts, Betrayal and Survival in the Cold War by Soledad Quartucci
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.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
From the Bookshelves: Islands of Sovereignty: Haitian Migration and the Borders of Empire by Jeffrey S. Kahn
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
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.
Friday, January 11, 2019
From the Bookshelves: ace, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases by Doug Coulson
The Legal History blog highlights a book that may be of interest to ImmigrationProf blog readers: "We missed this one last year. Doug Coulson, Carnegie Mellon University published Race, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases with SUNY Press in 2017." Here is the publisher's blurb:
Explores the role of rhetoric and the racial classification of Asian American immigrants in the early twentieth century.
From 1870 to 1940, racial eligibility for naturalization in the United States was limited to “free white persons” and “aliens of African nativity and persons of African descent,” and many interpreted these restrictions to reflect a policy of Asian exclusion based on the conclusion that Asians were neither white nor African. Because the distinction between white and Asian was considerably unstable, however, those charged with the interpretation and implementation of the naturalization act faced difficult racial classification questions. Through archival research and a close reading of the arguments contained in the documents of the US Bureau of Naturalization, especially those documents that discussed challenges to racial eligibility for naturalization, Doug Coulson demonstrates that the strategy of foregrounding shared external threats to the nation as a means of transcending perceived racial divisions was often more important to racial classification than legal doctrine. He argues that this was due to the rapid shifts in the nation’s enmities and alliances during the early twentieth century and the close relationship between race, nation, and sovereignty.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Immigration Article of the Day: Detainers, Discretion, and State Law's Historical Constraints by Kate Evans
President Trump’s first year in office has been marked by a dramatic increase in immigration arrests. The administration’s aggressive immigration enforcement campaign calls on hundreds of thousands of local police officers and county sheriffs across the country to identify and detain people suspected of violating federal civil immigration law. The immigration detainer is a key part of this strategy and is on the rise under the Trump Administration. A detainer asks local law enforcement officers to hold individuals beyond the time required by state law so that immigration officials can assume custody and pursue potential immigration violations. In practice, detainers attach the threat of deportation to any contact with local police. Immigrant rights advocates have challenged the use of detainers with mounting success, prompting successive administrations to repeatedly revise their policies. As the contest over detainers continues, the battle lines are shifting from federal to state law. For jurisdictions wanting to participate in local immigration enforcement, some officials are searching for authority in state statutes dating back centuries. These laws represent the first attempt to regulate cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies in the jailing of federal prisoners.
This Article presents the first examination of these early state and territorial provisions along with other historical limits placed on local law enforcement. It reveals that States’ founding laws fail to authorize local detainer enforcement. Rather, local enforcement would require new and specific authority in most States. However, expanding the role of local law enforcement beyond its traditional constraints comes at a substantial cost. Structurally, it erodes the benefits of individual liberty, political accountability, and uniformity promised by federal immigration control. Individually, it leaves the fate of an immigrant at a traffic stop to the discretion of a state or local officer and forces families to navigate a patchwork of protections and policing. The Article concludes that maintaining the traditional scope of state and local police power is necessary to protect the safety and civil rights of immigrant communities.
Monday, January 7, 2019
From the Bookshelves: Undocumented Politics Place, Gender, and the Pathways of Mexican Migrants by Abigail Leslie Andrews
In 2018, more than eleven million undocumented immigrants lived in the United States. Not since slavery had so many U.S. residents held so few political rights. Many strove tirelessly to belong. Others turned to their homelands for hope. What explains their clashing strategies of inclusion? And how does gender play into these fights?
Undocumented Politics offers a gripping inquiry into migrant communities’ struggles for rights and resources across the U.S.-Mexico divide. For twenty-one months, Abigail Andrews lived with two groups of migrants and their families in the mountains of Mexico and in the barrios of Southern California. Her nuanced comparison reveals how local laws and power dynamics shape migrants’ agency. Andrews also exposes how arbitrary policing abets gendered violence. Yet she insists that the process does not begin or end in the United States. Rather, migrants interpret their destinations in light of the hometowns they leave behind. Their counterparts in Mexico must also come to grips with migrant globalization. And on both sides of the border, men and women transform patriarchy through their battles to belong. Ambitious and intimate, Undocumented Politics reveals how the excluded find space for political voice.
Friday, November 30, 2018
In “Asymmetry,” two seemingly unrelated sections are connected by a shocking coda. The first, “Folly,” is the story of a love affair. It narrates the relationship between Alice, a book editor and aspiring writer in her mid-20s, and Ezra Blazer, a brilliant, geriatric novelist who is partly modeled on Philip Roth. The second section — “Madness” — belongs to Amar Jaafari, an Iraqi-American economist who is being detained at Heathrow. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W.G. Sebald. This is a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years, and it manages to be, all at once, a transgressive roman à clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.
Sounds like a great immprof stocking stuffer to me!
Saturday, November 24, 2018
25 Million Sparks: Andrew Leon Hanna ’19 on his prize-winning book project The son of Egyptian immigrants aims to celebrate refugee entrepreneurs
Credit: Financial Times Live
News from Harvard Law School: "When third-year Harvard Law student Andrew Leon Hanna hears immigrants depicted as criminals or charity cases, he thinks instead of his parents, Nosshey and Afaf Hanna, who immigrated to the United States from Egypt three decades ago. Their lives helped inspire Hanna’s book proposal, “25 Million Sparks”, which recently won the 2018 Bracken Bower Prize from the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, for the best business book proposal from an author aged 35 or under. Hanna, 26, plans to use the prize money . . . to travel to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and other places around the world where refugees who’ve fled war and persecution have built new lives with their creativity. He’s in talks with agents and editors about his book proposal."
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Restless Books is pleased to announce the winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, which each year will award $10,000 and publication to a first-time, first-generation American author. The 2018 prize goes to Priyanka Champaneri for her novel The City of Good Death, a novel about the proprietor of a death hostel in Benares, the Indian city where Hindus come to die a holy death. The City of Good Death will be published by Restless Books in Spring 2020.
Priyanka Champaneri was born and raised in Virginia. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts numerous times. The City of Good Death is her first novel.
Here is an excerpt of the book.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
America’s “broken” immigration system has become a cliché of national politics – made only worse by decades of political gridlock. Written with the benefit of almost a quarter-century in the field, Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door attempts to present the human face of this problem, covering cases that are as fascinating as they are controversial.
With the publication of Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door, Michael Wildes doesn’t travel over well-worn legal and political terrain. He presents case histories that read more like espionage thrillers, populated with KGB agents, nuclear whistle-blowers, and even accused terrorists fighting for their lives as well as legal standing in the U.S. But he also tells human stories – tales of children kidnapped to foreign countries in bitter divorce battles; families all but destroyed by the attack on the World Trade Center; a hero’s shabby treatment after standing up to terror; and a young DACA recipient becoming the target of a hate attack.
From managing media expectations with bombshell political revelations to the day-to-day demands of running a practice with office in four states, Wildes presents a look behind the scenes of one of America’s perennial political flash-points, along with startling disclosures from some of his most riveting cases.
Monday, November 12, 2018
The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling (Sept. 2018)
In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent―her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a “processing error”―Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity.
But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world.
Keenly observed, bristling with humor, and set against the beauty of a little-known part of California, The Golden State is about class and cultural breakdowns, and desperate attempts to bridge old and new worlds. But more than anything, it is about motherhood: its voracious worry, frequent tedium, and enthralling, wondrous love.
For a review of The Golden State, click here.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Latino Peoples in the New America: Racialization and Resistance by José A. Cobas, Joe R. Feagin, Daniel J. Delgado, Maria Chávez, editors
Latino Peoples in the New America: Racialization and Resistance by José A. Cobas, Joe R. Feagin, Daniel J. Delgado, Maria Chávez, editors, Routledge, released in December 2018
"Latinos" are the largest group among Americans of color. At 59 million, they constitute nearly a fifth of the US population. Their number has alarmed many in government, other mainstream institutions, and the nativist right who fear the white-majority US they have known is disappearing. During the 2016 US election and after, Donald Trump has played on these fears, embracing xenophobic messages vilifying many Latin American immigrants as rapists, drug smugglers, or "gang bangers." Many share such nativist desires to build enhanced border walls and create immigration restrictions to keep Latinos of various backgrounds out. Many whites’ racist framing has also cast native-born Latinos, their language, and culture in an unfavorable light.
Trump and his followers’ attacks provide a peek at the complex phenomenon of the racialization of US Latinos. This volume explores an array of racialization’s manifestations, including white mob violence, profiling by law enforcement, political disenfranchisement, whitewashed reinterpretations of Latino history and culture, and depictions of "good Latinos" as racially subservient. But subservience has never marked the Latino community, and this book includes pointed discussions of Latino resistance to racism. Additionally, the book’s scope goes beyond the United States, revealing how Latinos are racialized in yet other societies.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
From the Bookshelves: Lucy E. Salyer, Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship
Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship by Lucy E. Salyer
The riveting story of forty Irish Americans who set off to fight for Irish independence, only to be arrested by Queen Victoria’s authorities and accused of treason: a tale of idealism and justice with profound implications for future conceptions of citizenship and immigration.
In 1867 forty Irish American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.
The Fenians, as the freedom fighters were called, claimed American citizenship. British authorities disagreed, insisting that naturalized Irish Americans remained British subjects. Following in the wake of the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized anew the idea of citizenship as an inalienable right, as natural as freedom of speech and religion. The captivating trial of these men illustrated the stakes of extending those rights to arrivals from far-flung lands. The case of the Fenians, Lucy E. Salyer shows, led to landmark treaties and laws acknowledging the right of exit. The U.S. Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which guarantees the right to renounce one’s citizenship, in the same month it granted citizenship to former American slaves.
The small ruckus created by these impassioned Irish Americans provoked a human rights revolution that is not, even now, fully realized. Placing Reconstruction-era debates over citizenship within a global context, Under the Starry Flag raises important questions about citizenship and immigration.
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Friday, October 26, 2018
From the Bookshelves: Amy Bhatt, High-Tech Housewives: Indian IT Workers, Gendered Labor, and Transmigration
Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft promote the free flow of data worldwide, while relying on foreign temporary IT workers to build, deliver, and support their products. However, even as IT companies use technology and commerce to transcend national barriers, their transnational employees face significant migration and visa constraints. In this revealing ethnography, Amy Bhatt shines a spotlight on Indian IT migrants and their struggles to navigate career paths, citizenship, and belonging as they move between South Asia and the United States.
Through in-depth interviews, Bhatt explores the complex factors that shape IT transmigration and settlement, looking at Indian cultural norms, kinship obligations, friendship networks, gendered and racialized discrimination in the workplace, and inflexible and unstable visa regimes that create worker vulnerability. In particular, Bhatt highlights women's experiences as workers and dependent spouses who move as part of temporary worker programs. Many of the women interviewed were professional peers to their husbands in India but found themselves "housewives" stateside, unable to secure employment because of visa restrictions. Through her focus on the unpaid and feminized placemaking and caregiving labor these women provide, Bhatt shows how women's labor within the household is vital to the functioning of the flexible and transnational system of IT itself.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Jewish immigrants arriving at Ellis Island from Europe in the early 1900s were met with heartache and hope. Starting new lives, many left families behind in Europe and as they attempted to resettle—lacking basic resources such as food, jobs, and living spaces needed to restart.
What emerged from the steady flow of Jewish immigrants to the Lower East Side is landsmanshaftn. The Landsman were people from the same town who settled on the Lower East Side and informally banded together to help new arriving immigrants find a job and other basic needs, essentially the same basic needs immigrants today are yearning for as they look to resettle.
Neil Perry Gordon's newly released Jewish Historical Fiction, A Cobbler's Tale [October 2018], is an immigration story about his great-grandfather who was the founder of the Landsman Society of Krzywcza, which helped people from his village establish new lives in America. In his new book, the stories of Jewish immigration to the Lower East Side are historically accurate; and their influence is still present today.
To research for the book, Gordon visited Ellis Island to gain an understanding of the Jewish immigration story. This included a private tour of the abandoned hospital facilities on the island, which offered insights to the immigration experience.