A timely, transnational examination of the institutions in Mexico, Canada, and the United States that engage migrant populations in becoming agents of change for immigrant rights while holding government authorities accountable.
An interdisciplinary group of borderlands scholars provides the first expansive comparative history of the way North American borders have been policed—and transgressed—over the past two centuries.
The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of Americ
By the widely celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Last Call—the powerful, definitive, and timely account of how the rise of eugenics helped America close the immigration door to “inferiors” in the 1920s. A forgotten, dark chapter of American history with implications for the current day, The Guarded Gate tells the story of the scientists who argued that certain nationalities were inherently inferior, providing the intellectual justification for the harshest immigration law in American history. Brandished by the upper class Bostonians and New Yorkers—many of them progressives—who led the anti-immigration movement, the eugenic arguments helped keep hundreds of thousands of Jews, Italians, and other unwanted groups out of the US for more than 40 years. Over five years in the writing, The Guarded Gate tells the complete story from its beginning in 1895, when Henry Cabot Lodge and other Boston Brahmins launched their anti-immigrant campaign. In 1921, Vice President Calvin Coolidge declared that “biological laws” had proven the inferiority of southern and eastern Europeans; the restrictive law was enacted three years later. In his characteristic style, both lively and authoritative, Okrent brings to life the rich cast of characters from this time, including Lodge’s closest friend, Theodore Roosevelt; Charles Darwin’s first cousin, Francis Galton, the idiosyncratic polymath who gave life to eugenics; the fabulously wealthy and profoundly bigoted Madison Grant, founder of the Bronx Zoo, and his best friend, H. Fairfield Osborn, director of the American Museum of Natural History; Margaret Sanger, who saw eugenics as a sensible adjunct to her birth control campaign; and Maxwell Perkins, the celebrated editor of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. A work of history relevant for today, The Guarded Gate is an important, insightful tale that painstakingly connects the American eugenicists to the rise of Nazism, and shows how their beliefs found fertile soil in the minds of citizens and leaders both here and abroad.
Mae M. Ngai$24.95
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. 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. She shows that immigration restriction, particularly national-origin and numerical quotas, remapped America both by creating new categories of racial difference and by emphasizing as never before the nation's contiguous land borders and their patrol.
Douglas S. Massey and Tod G. Hamilton$35.00 $32.20
Over the last four decades, immigration from the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa to the U. S. has increased rapidly. In several states, African immigrants are now major drivers of growth in the black population. While social scientists and commentators have noted that these black immigrants’ social and economic outcomes often differ from those of their native-born counterparts, few studies have carefully analyzed the mechanisms that produce these disparities. In Immigration and the Remaking of Black America, sociologist and demographer Tod Hamilton shows how immigration is reshaping black America. He weaves together interdisciplinary scholarship with new data to enhance our understanding of the causes of socioeconomic stratification among both the native-born and newcomers. Hamilton demonstrates that immigration from the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa is driven by selective migration, meaning that newcomers from these countries tend to have higher educational attainment than those who stay behind. As a result, they arrive in the U.S. with some advantages over native-born blacks, and, in some cases, over whites. He also shows the importance of historical context: prior to the Civil Rights Movement, black immigrants’ socioeconomic outcomes resembled native-born blacks’ much more closely, regardless of their educational attainment in their country of origin. Today, however, certain groups of black immigrants have better outcomes than native-born black Americans—such as lower unemployment rates and higher rates of homeownership—in part because they immigrated at a time of expanding opportunities for minorities and women in general. Hamilton further finds that rates of marriage and labor force participation among native-born blacks that move away from their birth states resemble those of many black immigrants, suggesting that some disparities within the black population stem from processes associated with migration, rather than from nativity alone. Hamilton argues that failing to account for this diversity among the black population can lead to incorrect estimates of the social progress made by black Americans and the persistence of racism and discrimination. He calls for future research on racial inequality to disaggregate different black populations. By richly detailing the changing nature of black America, Immigration and the Remaking of Black America helps scholars and policymakers to better understand the complexity of racial disparities in the twenty-first century.