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American Immigration After 1996

The Shifting Ground of Political Inclusion

By Kathleen R. Arnold

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

Although I was particularly motivated to write these chapters during the widespread backlash against immigration between 2006 and 2008, this book was also inspired by my personal experiences with immigration (living and working abroad), as well as by numerous experiences with immigrants as friends and coworkers in the United States. My ideas on immigration ...

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pp. 1-16

In the two years preceding the 2008 presidential election, immigration became a hot topic of public discussion for the first time since the mid- 1990s.1 In light of the events of September 11, 2001, it has generally been taken for granted that there is an “immigration problem,” and concern has largely been directed at unauthorized entrants, mostly from Mexico.2 ...

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Chapter 1. Contemporary Assimilation in the United States

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pp. 17-46

In this chapter, I explore presuppositions about assimilation norms expressed in recent literature, public policy, and public debate. This discussion will be schematic, ignoring the complexities of some authors’ arguments, but will point to largely unexamined preconceptions in all these areas. The literature I am broadly referring to includes the work of conservatives like Lawrence ...

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Chapter 2. Enemy Invaders!: Mexican Immigrants and U.S. Wars Against Them

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pp. 47-70

Although U.S. assimilation norms have been historically intolerant of groups who are also the most politically and economically vulnerable, issues of national security, sovereignty, and war time measures today interact with these norms to produce a progressively more hostile context of reception for controversial immigration groups.1 In this chapter and the next, I investigate ...

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Chapter 3. Anti-Immigration Groups and Civil Society: Pathway to Democracy or Support for Prerogative Power?

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pp. 71-90

In this chapter, I continue evaluating the state of democracy in the United States today by exploring a limited number of anti-immigrant groups, including the Minutemen, Ranch Rescue, Civil Defense League, and FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), in order to interrogate their status as political organizations and supporters of (or detractors from) ...

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Chapter 4. Homo Laborans, Statelessness, and Terror: Economic Deregulation and the Strengthening of Sovereignty

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pp. 91-122

In this chapter, I would like to suggest that two programs—the U.S. guest-worker program and the Border Industrial Program (or maquila program)— are spaces created in reaction to perceived political and economic emergencies. Both programs are legal and operate outside normal laws and practices, and both are viewed as temporary. But not only have they lasted far beyond the ...

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Conclusion: The Right to Rights?

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pp. 123-141

In this chapter, I will argue that cosmopolitan politics—a commitment to democratic practices and rights performed on multiple levels—is the necessary solution to the problems I have considered in this book. But I would first like to frame this solution in terms of the critiques I have offered thus far. In this book, I have explored how a controversial immigrant group ...


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pp. 142-178


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pp. 178-182

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271052311
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271048895

Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Emigration and immigration
  • Immigrants -- Civil rights -- United States.
  • Immigrants -- United States -- Social conditions.
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