The "Huddled Masses" Myth: Immigration and Civil Rights

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Dezember 2003



Despite rhetoric that suggests that the United States opens its doors to virtually anyone who wants to come here, immigration has been restricted since the nation began. In this book, Kevin R. Johnson argues that immigration policy reflects the social hierarchy that prevails in American society as a whole and that immigration reform is intertwined with a struggle for civil rights. "The "Huddled Masses" Myth focuses on the exclusion of people of color, gays and lesbians, people with disabilities, the poor, political dissidents, and other disfavored groups, showing how bias shapes the law. In the nineteenth century, for example, virulent anti-Asian bias excluded would-be immigrants from China and severely restricted those from Japan. In our own time, people fleeing persecution and poverty in Haiti generally have been treated much differently from those fleeing Cuba. Johnson further argues that although domestic minorities (whether citizens or lawful immigrants) enjoy legal protections and might even be courted by politicians, they are regarded as subordinate groups and suffer discrimination. This book has particular resonance today as the public debates the uncertain status of immigrants from Arab countries and of the Muslim faith.


Acknowledgments 1. Immigration and Civil Rights in the United States 2. Exclusion and Deportation of Racial Minorities 3. Exclusion and Deportation of Political Undesirables 4. Exclusion and Deportation of the Poor 5. Exclusion and Deportation of Criminals 6. The Marginalization of Women Under the Immigration and Nationality Laws 7. Exclusion and Deportation of Lesbians and Gay Men 8. The Future of Immigration and Civil Rights in the United States Notes Index


"for those unfamiliar with the [immigration policy] field, this is an informative book. ...students can definitely benefit by reading his account." Ethnic and Racial Studies "The publication of two books (The "Huddled Masses" Myth / Defining America through Immigration Policy) on the relationship between immigration policy and racism in the United States could not have been more timely. Taken together, these two volumes comprise a detailed analysis of the racialized nature of American immigration history, and contribute concrete examples to support the established notion that race is socially constructed in a society's image of itself. Perhaps their most important contribution, however, is to provide a perspective on contemporary discussions of who qualifies for full citizenship status in the current context of the 'war on terror'." Law and Politics Book Review "a timely study" Choice "In this compelling book, Kevin R. Johnson reveals the myth of the 'huddled masses,' turning a critical eye on the contradictions of U.S. immigration policies and practices. Whereas the U.S. proudly views itself as a nation of immigrants, many people arriving to its shores have been shunned, most notably people of color and the poor. In a post-September 11th world, Johnson gives us good reasons to renew--rather than restrict--our nations commitment to immigrants." --Michael Welch, Rutgers University, author of Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding INS Jail Complex "The 'Huddled Masses' Myth is remarkably well conceived and written. Kevin Johnson takes up consistently interesting and fundamental questions about immigration law and then covers all the bases. He mounts his claims not through rhetoric, but through careful and meticulous work. This is a first-rate book on a very timely topic, and Johnson's treatment will prove to be very important in domestic debates about immigration." --Michael A. Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law and Director, Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance, University of Houston Law Center "Johnson's unique approach to both immigration and civil rights fills an important gap. He broadens the discussion by bringing together the discourse on race, ethnicity, immigration, and citizenship that until the last few years remained virtually isolated from each other. The 'Huddled Masses' Myth is an important contribution to moving away from a binary race paradigm and one that truly considers contemporary U.S. experience as well as challenging previous assumptions about the construction of race as black and white." --Mary Romero, School of Social Justice, Arizona State University, and author of Maid in U.S.A.
EAN: 9781592132065
ISBN: 1592132065
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 2003
Seitenanzahl: 254 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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