Taking the past fifteen years into account, the fifth edition of Ethnic Americans considers recent influxes of Asians and Hispanics, especially the surge in the Mexican population, and includes expanded coverage of nativist sentiment in American politics and thought.
Early twentieth-century immigrants from southern and eastern Europe often found themselves criticized for language and customs at odds with their new culture, but initially found greater acceptance through an emphasis on their similarities to "native stock" Americans. Drawing on sources as diverse as World War II films, records of Senate subcommittee hearings, and anti-Communist propaganda, Ellis Island Nation describes how contributionism eventually shifted the focus of the immigration debate from assimilation to a Cold War celebration of ethnic diversity and its benefits—helping to ease the passage of 1960s immigration laws that expanded the pool of legal immigrants and setting the stage for the identity politics of the 1970s and 1980s. Ellis Island Nation provides a historical perspective on recent discussions of multiculturalism and the exclusion of groups that have arrived since the liberalization of immigrant laws.
Mae Ngai 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, Ngai 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.
Ngai's 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, Impossible Subjects is a major reconsideration of U.S. immigration in the twentieth century.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Based on the largest research study of its kind, Legacies combines vivid vignettes with a wealth of survey and school data. Accessible, engaging, and indispensable for any consideration of the changing face of American society, this book presents a wide range of real-life stories of immigrant families—from Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, the Philippines, China, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam—now living in Miami and San Diego, two of the areas most heavily affected by the new immigration. The authors explore the world of second-generation youth, looking at patterns of parent-child conflict and cohesion within immigrant families, the role of peer groups and school subcultures, the factors that affect the children's academic achievement, and much more.
A companion volume to Legacies, entitled Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America, was published by California in Fall 2001. Edited by the authors of Legacies, this book will bring together some of the country's leading scholars of immigration and ethnicity to provide a close look at this rising second generation.
A Copublication with the Russell Sage Foundation
During the past three centuries, the region has been buffeted by efforts to benefit from or defeat economic and political integration and by the politics of imposing, tightening, or relaxing the bisecting international border. Where tariff policy was used in the early national period to open the border for agricultural goods, growing protectionism in both countries transformed the border into a bulwark against foreign competition after the 1860s. In the twentieth century, labor migration followed by multinational corporations fundamentally altered the customary pairing of capital and nation to that of capital versus nation, challenging the concept of international borders as key factors in national development.
In tracing the economic development of the Great Lakes Basin as borderland and as transnational region, the authors of Permeable Border have provided a regional history that transcends national borders and makes vital connections between two national histories that are too often studied as wholly separate.