Friday, January 22, 2021
Earlier this month, I posted about a grew new book. Immigrant California: Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Policy. On Thursday, January 28 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM (PT), David Scott FitzGerald and John D. Skrentny discuss their-new book. Irene Bloemraad (UC Berkeley), Tomás Jiménez (Stanford University), Manuel Pastor (USC) and Andrew Selee (the Migration Policy Institute) will be the panelists while Marcela Maxfield, SUP senior editor for Sociology, Law, and Asian Studies, will serve as the moderator.
Click on the following link for more information and to register for this event. Book discussion on Immigrant California Tickets, Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 12:30 PM | Eventbrite
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Ann Loeb Bronfman Distinguished Professor of Law and Government Amanda Frost published an essay in The American Scholar titled "Bithright Citizens and Paper Sons." In it she reveals the true story of an unexpected archival find that puts a wrinkle in one of the landmark legal victories for Chinese Americans: U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Fourteenth Amendment's provision of birthright citizenship extends to all persons born on U.S. soil, regardless of their parents' legal status.
After the U.S. Supreme Court declared that Wong Kim Ark was a U.S. born citizen despite his transnational life and his noncitizen parents, his children should have been automatically considered U.S. citizens. But the law did not immediately change their fortunes. When Wong Kim Ark's eldest son tried to enter the U.S. from China, he was initially held at Angel Island. Immigration inspectors declaired his paper fraudulent and denied him citizenship. A different son (Wong Yook Sue) met a similar fate on his attempt to enter, before this son appealed and got the decision reversed so that he could enter as a U.S. citizen.
But it turns out that Wong Yook Sue was a "paper son" of Wong Kim Ark. That is, according to the newly discovered and long overlooked documents from a Texas archive, he admitted during a Chinese confession program that he had falsely testified that he was biologically related to Wong Kim Ark and was instead a citizen of China. He was not a U.S. born citizen, notwithstanding Wong Kim Ark and the other Wong children's U.S. citizenship. Frost reflects on this unexpected wrinkle in a manner that highlights to complexity of history and even greater complexity of its lessons for the meaning of belonging in America.
From the perspective of a century later, the morality of paper sons and their citizen-fathers is complicated—just as complicated as the morality of unauthorized immigration today. Are paper sons and their fathers criminals, or are they the victims of a racist and inhumane system? Did they help or harm the United States? Does the United States regret the presence of a group of immigrants who mined the gold and built the transcontinental railroad at extraordinary speed and under harsh conditions? Or those, like Wong and his children, who took jobs that white Americans refused to do, laundering the clothes and cooking the meals to be enjoyed by the “real” citizens? In the words of Stanford professors Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Chinese immigrants and their children, both legal and illegal, in big ways and small, “helped build America.” One hundred years from now, when future historians scour the archives for records of the immigrants arriving today, they will surely say the same.
The story she tells in the article is one of many others from her new book, You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers, which comes out this month.
Friday, January 15, 2021
The Reimagining the Latinx Experience in America book talk series is part of The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility initiative. This series will push attendees to think about the realities––past and present––of Latinx people in the U.S. and how the future may look different, including better access to justice, resources, and opportunities. UCI Law is thrilled to spotlight these scholars and to provide an opportunity to learn from them and host a dialogue on their important work!
The series takes place on select Thursdays (12-1pm Pacific) between January - April 2021.
Michael Olivas will present his new book Perchance to Dream on January 28, 2021.
Edward Telles will present Durable Ethnicity: Mexican Americans and the Ethnic Core on February 11, 2021.
Rocio Rosales will present Street Vending, Illegality, and Ethnic Community in Los Angeles on February 25, 2021.
Gilberto Q. Conhas will present The Compana/O/X Dream on March 25, 2021.
Ian Haney Lopez will present Merge: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America on April 8, 2021.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Earlier this year, ImmigrationProf Blog highlighted The President and Immigration Law (2020) by Adam Cox and Cristina Rodriguez. Since then the book has garnered widespread attention among academics and policymakers that may influence the incoming administration.
A Balkinization symposum examines the landscape of immigration federalism, the separation of powers, and administrative procedure for the assertion of executive power in immigration law. It does this in several essays by Pratheepan Gulasekaram (Santa Clara Law), Aziz Huq (University of Chicago), Peter Markowitz (Cardozo Law), Daphna Renan (Harvard Law), Shalev Roisman (University of Arizona), Bijal Shah (Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law), Peter Shane (Ohio State Moritz College of Law), and Robert Tsai (B.U.).
An online symposium on Just Security extends the lens of analysis to the generation of national immigration policy, with essays from former government officials and immigration practitioners such as Lucas Guttentag (ACLU Immigrants Rights Project, previously US Citizenship and Immigration Service), Alan Bersin (Covington & Burling), Tom Jawetz (Center for American Progress), Josiah Heyman (Center for Interamerican and Border Studies), Margo Schlanger (University of Michigan, formerly US Department of Homeland Security), Nicholas Espiritu (University of California Los Angeles). UPDATE 1/3/2021: The list of symposium contributors has been updated.
A Migration Policy Institute webinar and podcast featuring the authors in conversation with Elena Goldstein, Deputy Bureau Chief, Civil Rights Bureau, New York State Office of the Attorney General, and Sarah Pierce, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute examines the Trump administration’s substantial use of executive power to change the country’s course on immigration, and how the president’s role in immigration policy is a inevitability that should be carefully considered and reimagined in any blueprint for immigration reform or strategy for activism on immigration.
A sneak peak of my book review, “Lessons from History on the Future of Presidential Policymaking in Immigration Law,” appears below (edited for length and clarity). The full-length review will appear in The New Rambler in 2021. UPDATE 1/14/21: The full book review is now posted.
Review of The President and Immigration Law (by Adam Cox and Cristina Rodriguez)
The President and Immigration Law offers a historically-grounded, doctrinally-precise description of issues that began at the Founding and have continued during the Obama administration and the Trump administration. Of late, these issues have been overtaken by partisan politics. Scholarly and political opinions abound without establishing a sound foundation. But it is on the foundation of history and legal analysis that Cox & Rodriguez offer their normative assessment of executive policymaking through the exercise of enforcement discretion. The translation of deep scholarly analysis into smart on-the-ground analysis of policy implementation – how to get things done - is where the authors will make a real practical difference. They are able to interpret the lessons from history for the future of presidential policy.
As someone who writes at the intersection of immigration and administrative law, I especially appreciate the authors’ effort to go beyond the contestation of the President versus Congress to delve deeper into the relationship of the president and bureaucracy. The immigration bureaucracy is the arms and legs beneath the executive head. The details of how the bureaucracy implements policy is where the authors’ normative ideals will gain the most traction. Comparing different styles of immigration enforcement under multiple administrations will be useful to the Biden administration. The initial tasks in Biden’s promise to “build back better” are clear. Executive authority can be used to reverse the priorities in immigration enforcement right away. Yet doing this effectively involves nuanced assessments of the administrative apparatus of immigration law. On the one hand, reversing many Trump policies will be quick and easy with the continued use of executive authority to regain control of the immigration bureaucracy. But on the other hand, institutionalizing these changes in a centralized mechanism of enforcement will require navigating the nuances of administrative procedure.
Going further to transform immigration policy will require Congress’ cooperation. The full extent of what is possible in a Biden administration depends on political conditions. Those political conditions will determine whether Comprehensive Immigration Reform is possible after nearly a decade of failed attempts. It is not up to Biden alone to define what is politically possible. But the parameters of what is theoretically possible is clear from Cox & Rodriguez’s book.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Virtual Book Launch: You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers by Amanda Frost
On Thursday, January 28 at 8pm ET , join the Politics & Prose (virtual) book launch for Amanda Frost's forthcoming book You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers. Professor Frost will be in conversation with David Plotz of Slate’s Political Gabfest. The link to the event ishere.
Here is the publisher's description of You Are Not American:
"Over the last two centuries, the US government has revoked citizenship to cast out its unwanted, suppress dissent, and deny civil rights to all considered `un-American'–whether due to their race, ethnicity, marriage partner, or beliefs. Drawing on the narratives of those who have struggled to be treated as full members of `We the People,' law professor Amanda Frost exposes a hidden history of discrimination and xenophobia that continues to this day.
The Supreme Court’s rejection of Black citizenship in Dred Scott was among the first and most notorious examples of citizenship stripping, but the phenomenon did not end there. Women who married noncitizens, persecuted racial groups, labor leaders, and political activists were all denied their citizenship, and sometimes deported, by a government that wanted to redefine the meaning of `American.' Today, US citizens living near the southern border are regularly denied passports, thousands are detained and deported by mistake, and the Trump administration is investigating the citizenship of 700,000 naturalized citizens. Even elected leaders such as Barack Obama and Kamala Harris are not immune from false claims that they are not citizens eligible to hold office."
You Are Not American grapples with what it means to be American and the issues surrounding membership, identity, belonging, and exclusion that still occupy and divide the nation in the twenty-first century.
From the Bookshelves: Immigrant California: Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Policy. Edited by David Scott FitzGerald and John D. Skrentny
"If California were its own country, it would have the world's fifth largest immigrant population. The way these newcomers are integrated into the state will shape California's schools, workforce, businesses, public health, politics, and culture. In Immigrant California, leading experts in U.S. migration provide cutting-edge research on the incorporation of immigrants and their descendants in this bellwether state. California, unique for its diverse population, powerful economy, and progressive politics, provides important lessons for what to expect as demographic change comes to most states across the country. Contributors to this volume cover topics ranging from education systems to healthcare initiatives and unravel the sometimes-contradictory details of California's immigration history. By examining the past and present of immigration policy in California, the volume shows how a state that was once the national leader in anti-immigrant policies quickly became a standard-bearer of greater accommodation. California's successes, and its failures, provide an essential road map for the future prosperity of immigrants and natives alike."
This is my blurb on the book:
"Throughout U.S. history, California has offered some of the most welcoming–and most xenophobic–responses to newcomers. This volume closely looks at the immigration lessons from this state, home to one of the largest immigrant populations in the world."
—Kevin Johnson, Dean, University of California, Davis School of Law
Sunday, January 3, 2021
Macarthur Grant winner and refugee Viet Thanh Nguyen offers a retrospective assessment on the Trump era's influence on literature in the New York Times. The article presents a rousing challenge for writers to remain engaged with politics and not retreat to writing about "flowers and the moon" once the Trumpian triggers fire less often or less loudly. I recommend a full read. This excerpt on "immigrant literature" is especially relevant to ImmigrationProf Blog readers:
During the xenophobic Trump years, when immigrants and refugees were demonized, simply standing up for immigrants became a politically worthwhile cause. But so much of immigrant literature, despite bringing attention to the racial, cultural and economic difficulties that immigrants face, also ultimately affirms an American dream that is sometimes lofty and aspirational, and at other times a mask for the structural inequities of a settler colonial state. Most Americans have never heard of settler colonialism, much less used it to describe their country. That’s because Americans prefer to call settler colonialism the American dream. Too much of immigrant and multicultural literature fails to rip off that mask.
Saturday, January 2, 2021
From the Bookshelves: The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War by David Nasaw
Review by Alan Hyde, Distinguished Professor and Sidney Reitman Scholar at Rutgers Law School
Immigration law casebooks often start the story of refugee law with the 1951 Covenant, perhaps observing that it reflected a sense that more could have been done in the 1930s to save those who perished thereafter. David Nasaw’s book, The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War, looks at policy from 1945 into the early 1950s, mostly US but with glances to the UK. I don’t think this period gets the attention it deserves. The picture is infuriating. Even after Americans all knew about Nazi horrors, it was increasingly US policy, enshrined in the Displaced Persons Acts of 1948 and 1950, to open America’s doors to Eastern Europeans who had fought with Waffen S.S. units, guarded death camps, or otherwise collaborated with the Nazi or puppet regimes. These people chose not to return to their homelands because they were now under Communist control, and they either feared retribution for their wartime conduct, or simply preferred the US to communist control. At the same time, Congress effectively blocked any lawful admission to Europe’s surviving Jews, either the thirty thousand or so found alive in German camps, or the much larger number of Polish Jews who, returning to their former communities, found nothing there, and voluntarily stayed in displaced persons camps in Germany, hoping something would open for them, as the State of Israel eventually did. The post-1945 story was thus not the 1930s story of a US government unwilling to deviate from existing public charge rules and national quotas, and perhaps, though I do not believe this personally, unable to comprehend the impending tragedy. Even after Congress knew, it hated. US immigration policy after the war ended was deliberately made to favor former Nazis over their victims. Nasaw tells all this with a great eye for detail and meticulous care with legal sources. Strongly recommended for those who teach refugee law, or want to understand the political currents of US immigration policy.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
One way to round out 2020 on a positive note is to apply for citizenship. CUNY Citizenship Now and other nonprofit organizations are providing assistance remotely. From CUNY: "Our staff is available via phone, #Zoom or #WhatsApp for consultations and to help you fill out the forms. Our services are free. Call 646-664-9400, 9-5, M-F to make an appointment or text 929-334-3784." The New Americans Campaign has collected naturalization workshops all over the country. USCIS has a citizenship resource center on its website.
For more context on the process of applying for citizenship, see "I Hereby Declare, On Oath", the immiwonk blog's multi-part series on naturalization.
Part 1. Naturalization is the end of the beginning of many immigrant's American story. Over the years some people have asked us, “I want to know more about the U.S. immigration system, but where do I start?” To them we always make the same recommendation: start by attending a naturalization ceremony. Whatever your political orientation or attitude about immigration in general, there is no more moving, emotional, and pride-inducing event than watching a group of people from diverse national, religious, and ethnic backgrounds stand together in a room and join this 200 plus year old project in small (d) democracy that we Americans are embarked upon (rocky as it may be at times).
Part 2. Do all green card holders eventually become citizens? While U.S. law outlines a clear process for permanent residents (green card holders) to become U.S. citizens, it is not a requirement. You can live in the United States with a green card for your entire life as long as you follow the restrictions, don’t vote, always file your taxes, and don’t commit a serious crime. While the benefits of citizenship are many, there are also benefits to retaining a foreign citizenship while living in the United States, and not every country in the world is willing to let you maintain your foreign passport if you are also carrying a U.S. passport.
A Part 3 on the good moral character required to get your citizenship application approved will appear next week.
The AP News wrote a retrospective piece on the rush to naturalize as an unintended consequence of Trump's election and the anticipation of exclusionary policies.
And my book and TEDx talk (A New Way to Think About American Citizenship) on Pursuing Citizenship similarly present portraits of the naturalization process based on the first-person experiences of immigrants seeking to become citizens. (Thanks for the shout-out @immiwonk and for including it on the year-end review of immigration books, immigrationprof!)
Immigration law professors published up a storm in 2020.
Here are some of the book chapters that immprofs published this year:
- Sabrineh Ardalan, EU and US Border Policy: Externalisation of Migration Control and Violation of the Right to Asylum in Securitising Asylum Flows: Deflection, Criminalisation and Challenges for Human Rights (Valsamis Mitsilegas, Violeta Moreno-Lax, and Niovi Vavoula eds., Brill Nijoff Press, 2020).
- Jason Cade, All the Border’s a Stage: Humanitarian Aid as Expressive Dissent, in 84 Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Special Issue: Law and the Citizen 109 (Austin Sarat, ed., 2020).
- Anil Kalhan, Hamilton and the Limits of Contemporary Immigration Narratives, in Hamilton and the Law (Lisa A. Tucker ed., Cornell University Press 2020).
- Elizabeth Keyes, Hamilton's Immigrant Story Today, in Hamilton and the Law (Lisa A. Tucker ed., Cornell University Press 2020).
- David B. Thronson, Citizenship and Rights of Children, in The Oxford Handbook of Children Rights Law (Jonathan Todres and Shani King, eds., Oxford University Press, 2020).
- Veronica Tobar Thronson and David B. Thronson, Child Immigration: Barriers Predicated on National Origin and Racial Identity, in Children and Race: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law (Margaret C. Stevenson, Bette L. Bottoms & Kelly Burke, eds., Oxford University Press 2020)
Kevin has already been reviewing the many wonderful books released in 2020. Here's a short list of those authored by immprofs:
- Ming Hsu Chen, Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era
- Adam Cox & Cristina Rodriguez, The President and Immigration Law
- Alina Das, No Justice in the Shadows
- Michael Kagan, The Battle to Stay in America
- Michael Olivas, Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of the DREAM Act and DACA
- Philip G. Schrag, Baby Jails
- Philip G. Schrag, Ethical Problems in the Practice of Law, 5th edition (with Lisa G. Lerman and Robert Rubinson)
- Ayelet Shacher, The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility
- Ilya Somin, Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom
Friday, December 25, 2020
This fictional account of the journey of an asylum seeker from Mexico generated considerable controversy. NPR discusses the controversy over a white author writing a book about the Mexican migrant experience, which some say include negative stereotypes of Mexico and Mexicans that Donald Trump might endorse. The book has been characterized as "trauma porn." Critics have levelled claims of cultural appropriation against American Dirt and the author, Jeanine Cummins. At the same time, the best-seller focused many peoples' attention on the conditions along the U..S./Mexico border.
In The President and Immigration Law, Adam B. Cox and Cristina M. Rodriguez chronicle the untold story of how, over the course of two centuries, the President became our immigration policymaker-in-chief.
Could this book have been more timely?
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Here is Part 2 of the best immigration books of 2020. Click here for Part 1.
Baby Jails: The Fight to End the Incarceration of Refugee Children in America by Philip G. Schrag (2020).
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Immigration Books of the Year
Looking for a gift for an immigration buddy? (I know its late but oh well.). This year saw the publication of a number of great immigration books:
Check out Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era by the ImmigrationProf Blog's very own Ming Hsu Chen. The Stanford University Press synopsis: "Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era provides readers with the everyday perspectives of immigrants on what it is like to try to integrate into American society during a time when immigration policy is focused on enforcement and exclusion."
Perchance to Dream by Michael A. Olivas. Professor Olivas was 2010 Immigration Professor of the Year. As described by the publisher: "Perchance to DREAM is the first comprehensive history of the DREAM Act, which made its initial congressional appearance in 2001, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the discretionary program established by President Obama in 2012 out of Congressional failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform."
See Part 2 tomorow.
Sunday, December 20, 2020
How to Pronounce Knife is a collection of fourteen short stories about Lao immigrants by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Here's the publisher's take:
A failed boxer painting nails at the local salon. A woman plucking feathers at a chicken processing plant. A housewife learning English from daytime soap operas. A mother teaching her daughter the art of worm harvesting. In her stunning debut story collection, O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa focuses on characters struggling to make a living, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, acts of defiance, and above all their pursuit of a place to belong. In spare, intimate prose charged with emotional power and a sly wit, she paints an indelible portrait of watchful children, wounded men, and restless women caught between cultures, languages, and values. As one of Thammavongsa's characters says, "All we wanted was to live." And in these stories, they do—brightly, ferociously, unforgettably.
I love this description from WaPo: "Her careful dissection of everyday moments of racism, classism and sexism exposes how power and privilege drive success, how work shapes the immigrant identity, and how erasure and invisibility lead to isolation."
I've already downloaded it to read. Looking forward to it.
Friday, December 18, 2020
From The Bookshelves: The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants by Adam Goodman
Adam Goodman is an assistant professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program and in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Check out his 2020 book The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants.
Here is the publisher's blurb to entice you:
Constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century. The Deportation Machine traces the long and troubling history of the US government's systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants over the past 140 years. This provocative, eye-opening book provides needed historical perspective on one of the most pressing social and political issues of our time.
In a sweeping and engaging narrative, Adam Goodman examines how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. He reveals how authorities have singled out Mexicans, nine out of ten of all deportees, and removed most of them not by orders of immigration judges but through coercive administrative procedures and calculated fear campaigns. Goodman uncovers the machine's three primary mechanisms―formal deportations, "voluntary" departures, and self-deportations―and examines how public officials have used them to purge immigrants from the country and exert control over those who remain. Exposing the pervasive roots of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, The Deportation Machine introduces the politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and ordinary citizens who have pushed for and profited from expulsion.
This revelatory book chronicles the devastating human costs of deportation and the innovative strategies people have adopted to fight against the machine and redefine belonging in ways that transcend citizenship.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Isabel Allende's latest novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, is a story about migration. Here's the publisher's description:
In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.
Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark for Chile on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Ming Hsu Chen will give a TED talk inspired by Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era (Stanford Press 2020) at TEDxMileHigh titled “Finding Yourself on The Citizenship Spectrum” on Saturday December 5, 2020 (5-7pm MT). Also speaking is Joan Williams from UC Hastings on implicit bias. Leslie Herod, the first LGBTQ African American elected to the Colorado General Assembly, will speak on criminal justice reform and police accountability following the murder of George Floyd, and Alejandro Jimenez will share stories and spokenword poetry from his vantage point as a formerly undocumented immigrant. There is even an “olfactory artist”! Free registration here and Event Guide here (tedxmilehigh.com/Vision).
Here's an speaker interview with Ming with some fun tidbits you may not have known!
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Balkinization Symposium on Adam Cox and Cristina Rodriguez, The President and Immigration Law (Oxford University Press, 2020)
- Whose Immigration Law Is It? by Shalev Roisman
- Presidential Immigration Federalism by Pratheepan Gulasekaram
- What is the Presidency? by Daphna Renan
More contributions are coming down the pike!
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Check out this Cosmopolitan list. One of the first on the list:
Here is the publisher's blurb for the book:
"Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel–turned–refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.
Nayeri confronts notions like “the swarm,” and, on the other hand, “good” immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis."