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Impossible subjects : illegal aliens and the making of modern America

Author: Mae M Ngai
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2004.
Series: Politics and society in twentieth-century America.
Edition/Format:   Audiobook on CD : CD audio : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book traces the origins of the "illegal alien" in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy -- a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century. [The author] offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the 1920s -- its statutory  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Mae M Ngai
OCLC Number: 57099584
Notes: Originally published: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©2004.
Description: 1 audio disc : digital, mono ; 4 3/4 in.
Contents: Illegal aliens : a problem of law and history --
The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 and the reconstruction of race in immigration law --
Deportation policy and the making and unmaking of illegal aliens --
From Colonial subject to undesirable alien : Filipino migration in the invisible empire --
Braceros, "wetbacks," and the national boundaries of class --
The World War II internment of Japanese Americans and the citizenship renunciation cases --
The Cold War Chinese immigration crisis and the confession cases --
The liberal critique and reform of immigration policy.
Series Title: Politics and society in twentieth-century America.
Responsibility: Mae M. Ngai.

Abstract:

This book traces the origins of the "illegal alien" in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy -- a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century. [The author] offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the 1920s -- its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects. In well-drawn historical portraits, [she] peoples her study with the Filipinos, Mexicans, Japanese, and Chinese who comprised, variously, illegal aliens, alien citizens, colonial subjects, and imported contract workers. She shows that immigration restriction, particularly national-origin and numerical quotas, re-mapped the nation both by creating new categories of racial difference and by emphasizing as never before the nation's contiguous land borders and their patrol. This yielded the "illegal alien," a new legal and political subject whose inclusion in the nation was a social reality but a legal impossibility -- a subject without rights and excluded from citizenship. Questions of fundamental legal status created new challenges for liberal democratic society and have directly informed the politics of multiculturalism and national belonging in our time. [Her] analysis is based on extensive archival research, including previously unstudied records of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Contributing to American history, legal history, and ethnic studies, [this book] is a major reconsideration of U.S. immigration in the twentieth.-Dust jacket.

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