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Those Damned Immigrants

America’s Hysteria over Undocumented Immigration

Ediberto Román

Publication Year: 2013

"This data-driven and massively documented study replaces rhetoric with analysis, myth with fact, and apocalyptic predictions with sane and realizable proposals."
—Stanley Fish, Florida International University
The election of Barack Obama prompted people around the world to herald the dawning of a new, postracial era in America. Yet a scant one month after Obama’s election, Jose Oswaldo Sucuzhanay, a 31-year old Ecuadorian immigrant, was ambushed by a group of white men as he walked with his brother. Yelling anti-Latino slurs, the men beat Sucuzhanay into a coma. He died 5 days later.
The incident is one of countless attacks that Latino/a immigrants have confronted for generations in America. And these attacks are accepted by a substantial number of American citizens and elected officials. Quick to cast all Latino/a immigrants as illegal, opponents have place undocumented workers at the center of their anti-immigrant movement, targeting them as being responsible for increasing crime rates, a plummeting economy, and an erosion of traditional American values and culture.
In Those Damned Immigrants, Ediberto Román takes on critics of Latina/o immigration, using government statistics, economic data, historical records, and social science research to provide a counter-narrative to what he argues is a largely one-sided public discourse on Latino/a immigration.
Ediberto Román is Professor of Law and Director of Citizenship and Immigration Initiatives at Florida International University.
Michael A. Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center and Director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at UH.
In the Citizenship and Migration in the Americas series

Published by: NYU Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

Ediberto Román’s Those Damned Immigrants is a classic in the growing literature on the vast right-wing conspiracy, including the many exploitative features of capitalism in the postmodern age that attract and depend upon contingent and undocumented immigrant labor, largely from third world nations, especially the proximate Mexico, ...

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pp. xiii-xxii

In my previous works, I wrote the acknowledgments section after I had largely completed the manuscripts. However, in this instance I decided to write the acknowledgements before I finished the book. The reason for this approach is that I am using this section as a motivational tool to finish this labor of love. ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-16

It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see how the above narrative (using direct quotes from the infamous 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast) could easily be tomorrow’s leading news bulletin concerning this country’s alleged immigration crisis.2 Following increased domestic oversight and arguably isolationist sentiments after September 11, 2001, ...

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2. Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

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pp. 17-42

Rhetoric is widely known as the art of discourse, but the art in the immigration context is filled with venom. Central to the modern-day immigrant rhetoric is the so-called mass invasion at our borders.1 Not unlike the momentary hysteria associated with the War of the Worlds broadcast, media, politicians, ...

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3. Empirical Data on Immigration

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pp. 43-84

Perhaps no issue related to the immigration debate is touted more as fact than the so-called economic consequences of undocumented immigration. Time and time again politicians, news pundits, and the occasional academic advance arguments concerning the negative impact of undocumented immigrants on our economy. ...

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4. Immigration’s Effects on State and Local Economies

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pp. 85-110

Though scholars have refuted claims that immigration is detrimental to the national economy, arguments about immigration’s negative effects on local and state economies carry considerably greater force.1 Simple logic suggests that healthcare and K-12 education for undocumented immigrants and their families impose increased costs ...

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5. The Conflicted United States–Mexico Relationship: Invitation and Exclusion

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pp. 111-124

Although the United States is often described as a “nation of immigrants,”1 this country’s treatment of Latin American immigrants is largely a tale of inclusion and assistance on one hand, and exclusion and mistreatment on the other. As Kevin Johnson succinctly describes it, ...

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6. Sociological and Psychological Insights on Anti-Immigrant Bias

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pp. 125-132

Anti-immigrant discourse, ranging from factually incorrect assertions to inflammatory rhetoric, has a significant impact on public perceptions and the implementation of public policy. As we have seen in chapter 2, there are well known cases in which those who make offensively anti-black or misogynistic comments face strong public condemnation. ...

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7. A Pragmatic Proposal for Immigration Reform

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pp. 133-152

The War of the Worlds radio broadcast discussed in the introduction was a hoax concerning a Martian invasion. The stunt made Orson Wells famous and caused a short-term panic across the country. Nearly a hundred years later, that broadcast exemplifies the media’s ability to create and even distort reality. ...


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pp. 153-180


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pp. 181-184

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About the Author

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pp. 185-186

Ediberto Román is a nationally acclaimed scholar and an award-winning educator with broad teaching interests and an extensive scholarship portfolio. A prolific scholar, he has published numerous legal articles, essays, and book chapters on international law, securities regulation, evidence, constitutional law, critical race theory, postcolonial discourse, and law and literature. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780814776582
E-ISBN-10: 0814776574
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814776575
Print-ISBN-10: 0814776574

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 867739689
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Those Damned Immigrants

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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
  • Immigrants -- United States.
  • Citizenship -- United States.
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