For many, it is impossible to ignore what is happening in the United States right now. As thousands of families have been separated at the border, many of us have questions. As a scholarly press, we strive to disseminate significant scholarship in hopes that this work will contribute to the enrichment of both cultural and intellectual life. In this challenging moment in history, we would like to provide our readers with a short reading list of books related to immigration, asylum, and citizenship.
Sara L. McKinnon exposes racialized rhetorics of violence in politics and charts the development of gender as a category in American asylum law.Women filing gender-based asylum claims long faced skepticism and outright rejection within the United States immigration system. Despite erratic progress, the United States still fails to recognize gender as an established category for experiencing persecution. Gender exists in a sort of limbo segregated from other aspects of identity and experience. Wide-ranging and rich with human detail, Gendered Asylum uses feminist, immigration, and legal studies to engage one of the hotly debated issues of our time.
A classroom staple, Immigrant Voices: New Lives in America, 1773-2000 has been updated with writings that reflect trends in immigration to the United States through the turn of the twenty-first century. Contextualizing and annotating each entry, editor Thomas Dublin underscores the diversity of immigrant backgrounds as well as the commonalities of the U.S. immigrant experience across lines of gender, nation of origin, race, and even time.
Karma R. Chávez analyzes how activists use coalition to articulate the shared concerns of queer politics and migration politics, as activists imagine their ability to belong in various communities and spaces, their relationships to state and regional politics, and their relationships to other people whose lives might be very different from their own. The battles for LGBTQ rights and immigrant rights have captured significant attention in the U.S. public sphere throughout the twenty-first century. Both movements, which are largely understood to be separate, have advocated a politics of inclusion in and assimilation to mainstream national values.
Responding to inaccuracies concerning Latino immigrants in the United States as well as an anti-immigrant strain in the American psyche, this collection of essays edited by Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood examines the movement of the Latin American labor force to the central states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa. Contributors look at the outside factors that affect migration including corporate agriculture, technology, globalization, and government, as well as factors that have attracted Latin Americans to the Heartland including religion, strong family values, hard work, farming, and cowboy culture.
A day after José Ángel N. first crossed the U.S. border from Mexico, he was caught and then released onto the streets of Tijuana. Undeterred, N. crawled back through a tunnel to San Diego, where he entered the United States to stay. Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant is his timely and compelling memoir of building a new life in America. Ultimately, N.’s is the story of the triumph of education over adversity. In Illegal, he debunks the stereotype that undocumented immigrants are freeloaders without access to education or opportunity for advancement. With bravery and honesty, N. details the constraints, deceptions, and humiliations that characterize alien life “amid the shadows.”
In A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered, leading scholars of immigration explore how the political and ideological struggles of the “age of restriction”–from 1924 to 1965–paved the way for the changes to come. The essays examine how geopolitics, civil rights, perceptions of America’s role as a humanitarian sanctuary, and economic priorities led government officials to facilitate the entrance of specific immigrant groups, thereby establishing the legal precedents for future policies. Eye-opening articles discuss Japanese war brides and changing views of miscegenation, the recruitment of former Nazi scientists, a temporary workers program with Japanese immigrants, the emotional separation of Mexican immigrant families, Puerto Rican youth’s efforts to claim an American identity, and the restaurant raids of conscripted Chinese sailors during World War II. Available January 2019
Immigrant Identity and the Politics of Citizenship, is a joint effort with the Journal of American Ethnic History (JAEH). Editor John Bukowczyk selected 14 articles that explore the challenges of the myriad divisions and hierarchies that immigrants to the United States must navigate and the cultural and political atmospheres they encounter. The book includes a substantial introduction from the editor that highlights these themes that link each chapter.
The Official Journal of the Immigration & Ethnic History Society
The Journal of American Ethnic History (JAEH), edited by Suzanne Sinke, addresses various aspects of North American immigration history and American ethnic history, including background of emigration, ethnic and racial groups, Native Americans, race and ethnic relations, immigration policies, and the processes of incorporation, integration, and acculturation. Each issue contains articles, review essays, and single book reviews.
Highlighted article: The Southwest’s Uneven Welcome: Immigrant Inclusion and Exclusion T. in Arizona and New Mexico, by Robin Dale Jacobson, Daniel Tichenor, and T. Elizabeth Durden.
With a Special Feature: #ImmigrationSyllabus: The Necessity of Teaching Immigration History Today, by Erika Lee, Maddalena Marinari, and Evan Taparata