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Immigration Law and the U.S.–Mexico Border Cover

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Immigration Law and the U.S.–Mexico Border

¿Sí se puede?

Kevin R. Johnson

Americans from radically different political persuasions agree on the need to “fix” the “broken” US immigration laws to address serious deficiencies and improve border enforcement. In Immigration Law and the US–Mexico Border, Kevin Johnson and Bernard Trujillo focus on what for many is at the core of the entire immigration debate in modern America: immigration from Mexico.

In clear, reasonable prose, Johnson and Trujillo explore the long history of discrimination against US citizens of Mexican ancestry in the United States and the current movement against “illegal aliens”—persons depicted as not deserving fair treatment by US law. The authors argue that the United States has a special relationship with Mexico by virtue of sharing a 2,000-mile border and a “land-grab of epic proportions” when the United States “acquired” nearly two-thirds of Mexican territory between 1836 and 1853.

The authors explain US immigration law and policy in its many aspects—including the migration of labor, the place of state and local regulation over immigration, and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the US economy. Their objective is to help thinking citizens on both sides of the border to sort through an issue with a long, emotional history that will undoubtedly continue to inflame politics until cooler, and better-informed, heads can prevail. The authors conclude by outlining possibilities for the future, sketching a possible movement to promote social justice. Great for use by students of immigration law, border studies, and Latino studies, this book will also be of interest to anyone wondering about the general state of immigration law as it pertains to our most troublesome border.

An Impossible Living in a Transborder World Cover

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An Impossible Living in a Transborder World

culture, confianza, and economy of Mexican-origin populations

By Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez

They are known as cundinas or tandas in Mexico, and for many people these local savings-and-loan operations play an indispensable role in the struggle to succeed in today's transborder economy. With this extensively researched book, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez updates and expands upon his major 1983 study of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), incorporating new data that reflect the explosion of Mexican-origin populations in the United States. Much more than a study of one economic phenomenon though, the book examines the way in which these practices are part of greater transnational economies and how these populations engage in--and suffer through--the twenty-first century global economy.

Central to the ROSCA is the cultural concept of mutual trust, or confianza. This is the cultural glue that holds the reciprocal relationship together. As Vélez-Ibáñez explains, confianza "shapes the expectations for relationships within broad networks of interpersonal links, in which intimacies, favors, goods, services, emotion, power, or information are exchanged." In a border region where migration, class movement, economic changes, and institutional inaccessibility produce a great deal of uncertainty, Mexican-origin populations rely on confianza and ROSCAs to maintain a sense of security in daily life. How do transborder people adapt these common practices to meet the demands of a global economy? That is precisely what Vélez-Ibáñez investigates.

Imprints on Native Lands Cover

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Imprints on Native Lands

The Miskito-Moravian Settlement Landscape in Honduras

Benjamin F. Tillman

More than one hundred fifty years ago, Moravian missionaries first landed along a so-called isolated stretch of Honduras’s Mosquito Coast bordering the western Caribbean Sea. The missionaries were sent, with the strong encouragement of German political leaders and in the context of German attempts at colonization, to “spread the word” of Protestantism in Central America. Upon their arrival, the missionar-ies employed a three-pronged approach consisting of proselytizing, medical treatment, and education to convert the majority of the indige-nous population.

Much like the Spanish and English attempts before them, German colonizing efforts in the region never complete-ly took hold. Still, as Benjamin Tillman shows, for the region’s indigenous inhabitants, the Miskito people, the arrival of the Moravian missionaries marked the beginning of an important cultural interface.

Imprints on Native Lands documents Moravian contributions to the Miskito settlement landscape in sixty-four villages of eastern Honduras through field observations of material culture, interviews with village residents, and research in primary sources in the Moravian Church archives. Tillman employs the resulting data to map a hierarchy of Moravian centers, illustrating spatially varying degrees of Moravian influence on the Miskito settlement landscape.

Tillman reinforces Miskito claims to ancestral lands by identifying and mapping their created ethnic landscape, as well as supporting earlier efforts at land-use mapping in the region. This book has broad implications, providing a methodology that will be of help to those with an interest in geography, anthropology, or Latin American studies, and to anyone interested in documenting and strengthening indigenous land claims.

In the Garden of the Bridehouse Cover

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In the Garden of the Bridehouse

J. Michael Martinez

Through lyrical procedures of self-immolation, this brave new collection by J. Michael Martinez interrogates the sundry roles language, myth, and sexuality play for the self and the other in the recoverable and irrecoverable past. Parallel to his award-winning first collection Heredities, J. Michael Martinez pushes the boundaries of poetic form, wedding historically oppositional lyrical traditions to deliver a collection unlike any other.

Turning the page into a visual field, as in the deconstructed musical score telling the tale of La Llorona, In the Garden of the Bridehouse questions the line between visual art and poetry. The work employs the vernacular, the stylized language of theory, and the blank canvas of the page in its exploration of the known and unknowable.

Throughout the work, Martinez paradoxically exercises both a lyrical minimalism and a baroque poetic, uniting Mesoamerican preconquest imaginary with the sensuality of the Biblical Song of Songs, cultivating a lyrical space wherein contrasting potentials are—as one—realized in their shared promise.

In the Smaller Scope of Conscience Cover

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In the Smaller Scope of Conscience

The Struggle for National Repatriation Legislation, 1986–1990

C. Timothy McKeown

In 1989, The National Museum of the American Indian Act (NMAIA) was successfully passed after a long and intense struggle. One year later, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) followed. These federal repatriation statutes—arguably some of the most important laws in the history of anthropology, museology, and American Indian rights—enabled Native Americans to reclaim human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.

Twenty years later, the controversy instigated by the creation of NMAIA and NAGPRA continues to simmer. In the Smaller Scope of Conscience is a thoughtful and detailed study of the ins and outs of the four-year process behind these laws. It is a singular contribution to the history of these issues, with the potential to help mediate the ongoing debate by encouraging all sides to retrace the steps of the legislators responsible for the acts.

Few works are as detailed as McKeown’s account, which looks into bills that came prior to NMAIA and NAGPRA and combs the legislative history for relevant reports and correspondence. Testimonies, documents, and interviews from the primary players of this legislative process are cited to offer insights into the drafting and political processes that shaped NMAIA and NAGPRA.

Above all else, this landmark work distinguishes itself from earlier legislative histories with the quality of its analysis. Invested and yet evenhanded in his narrative, McKeown ensures that this journey through history—through the strategies and struggles of different actors to effect change through federal legislation—is not only accurate but eminently intriguing.

The Indian Resilience and Rebuilding Cover

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The Indian Resilience and Rebuilding

Indigenous Nations in the Modern American West

Donald L. Fixico

Indian Resilience and Rebuilding provides an Indigenous view of the last one-hundred years of Native history and guides readers through a century of achievements. It examines the progress that Indians have accomplished in rebuilding their nations in the 20th century, revealing how Native communities adapted to the cultural and economic pressures in modern America. Donald Fixico examines issues like land allotment, the Indian New Deal, termination and relocation, Red Power and self-determination, casino gaming, and repatriation. He applies ethnohistorical analysis and political economic theory to provide a multi-layered approach that ultimately shows how Native people reinvented themselves in order to rebuild their nations.  

Fixico identifies the tools to this empowerment such as education, navigation within cultural systems, modern Indian leadership, and indigenized political economy. He explains how these tools helped Indian communities to rebuild their nations. Fixico constructs an Indigenous paradigm of Native ethos and reality that drives Indian modern political economies heading into the twenty-first century.

This illuminating and comprehensive analysis of Native nation’s resilience in the twentieth century demonstrates how Native Americans reinvented themselves, rebuilt their nations, and ultimately became major forces in the United States. Indian Resilience and Rebuilding, redefines how modern American history can and should be told.

Indigenous Agency in the Amazon Cover

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Indigenous Agency in the Amazon

The Mojos in Liberal and Rubber-Boom Bolivia, 1842–1932

Gary Van Valen

The largest group of indigenous people in the Bolivian Amazon, the Mojos, has coexisted with non-Natives since the late 1600s, when they accepted Jesuit missionaries into their homeland, converted to Catholicism, and adapted their traditional lifestyle to the conventions of mission life. Nearly two hundred years later they faced two new challenges: liberalism and the rubber boom. White authorities promoted liberalism as a way of modernizing the region and ordered the dismantling of much of the social structure of the missions. The rubber boom created a demand for labor, which took the Mojos away from their savanna towns and into the northern rain forests.
Gary Van Valen postulates that as ex-mission Indians who lived on a frontier, the Mojos had an expanded capacity to adapt that helped them meet these challenges. Their frontier life provided them with the space and mind-set to move their agricultural plots and cattle herds, join independent indigenous groups, or move to Brazil. Their mission history gave them the experience they needed to participate in the rubber export economy and the politics of white society. Van Valen argues that the indigenous Mojos also learned how to manipulate liberal discourse to their advantage. He demonstrates that the Mojos were able to survive the rubber boom, claim the right of equality promised by the liberal state, and preserve important elements of the culture they inherited from the missions.
The largest group of indigenous people in the Bolivian Amazon, the Mojos, has coexisted with non-Natives since the late 1600s, when they accepted Jesuit missionaries into their homeland, converted to Catholicism, and adapted their traditional lifestyle to the conventions of mission life. Nearly two hundred years later they faced two new challenges: liberalism and the rubber boom. White authorities promoted liberalism as a way of modernizing the region and ordered the dismantling of much of the social structure of the missions. The rubber boom created a demand for labor, which took the Mojos away from their savanna towns and into the northern rain forests.
Gary Van Valen postulates that as ex-mission Indians who lived on a frontier, the Mojos had an expanded capacity to adapt that helped them meet these challenges. Their frontier life provided them with the space and mind-set to move their agricultural plots and cattle herds, join independent indigenous groups, or move to Brazil. Their mission history gave them the experience they needed to participate in the rubber export economy and the politics of white society. Van Valen argues that the indigenous Mojos also learned how to manipulate liberal discourse to their advantage. He demonstrates that the Mojos were able to survive the rubber boom, claim the right of equality promised by the liberal state, and preserve important elements of the culture they inherited from the missions.

Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions Cover

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Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions

New Perspectives from Archaeology and Ethnohistory

Edited by Lee M. Panich and Tsim D. Schneider

Spanish missions in North America were once viewed as confining and stagnant communities, with native peoples on the margins of the colonial enterprise. Recent archaeological and ethnohistorical research challenges that notion. Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions considers how native peoples actively incorporated the mission system into their own dynamic existence. The book, written by diverse scholars and edited by Lee M. Panich and Tsim D. Schneider, covers missions in the Spanish borderlands from California to Texas to Georgia.

Offering thoughtful arguments and innovative perspectives, the editors organized the book around three interrelated themes. The first section explores power, politics, and belief, recognizing that Spanish missions were established within indigenous landscapes with preexisting tensions, alliances, and belief systems. The second part, addressing missions from the perspective of indigenous inhabitants, focuses on their social, economic, and historical connections to the surrounding landscapes. The final section considers the varied connections between mission communities and the world beyond the mission walls, including examinations of how mission neophytes, missionaries, and colonial elites vied for land and natural resources.

Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions offers a holistic view on the consequences of missionization and the active negotiation of missions by indigenous peoples, revealing cross-cutting perspectives into the complex and contested histories of the Spanish borderlands. This volume challenges readers to examine deeply the ways in which native peoples negotiated colonialism not just inside the missions themselves but also within broader indigenous landscapes. This book will be of interest to archaeologists, historians, tribal scholars, and anyone interested in indigenous encounters with colonial institutions.

Indigenous Peoples, National Parks, and Protected Areas Cover

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Indigenous Peoples, National Parks, and Protected Areas

A New Paradigm Linking Conservation, Culture, and Rights

Edited by Stan Stevens

Innocent Until Interrogated Cover

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Innocent Until Interrogated

By Gary L. Stuart

On a sweltering August morning, a woman walked into a Buddhist temple near Phoenix and discovered the most horrific crime in Arizona history. Nine Buddhist temple members--six of them monks committed to lives of non-violence--lay dead in a pool of blood, shot execution style. The massive manhunt that followed turned up no leads until a tip from a psychiatric patient led to the arrest of five suspects. Each initially denied their involvement in the crime, yet one by one, under intense interrogation, they confessed.

Soon after, all five men recanted, saying their confessions had been coerced. One was freed after providing an alibi, but the remaining suspects--dubbed "The Tucson Four" by the media--remained in custody even though no physical evidence linked them to the crime.

Seven weeks later, investigators discovered--almost by chance--physical evidence that implicated two entirely new suspects. The Tucson Four were finally freed on November 22 after two teenage boys confessed to the crime, yet troubling questions remained. Why were confessions forced out of innocent suspects? Why and how did legal authorities build a case without evidence? And, ultimately, how did so much go so wrong?

In this first book-length treatment of the Buddhist Temple Massacre, Gary L. Stuart explores the unspeakable crime, the inexplicable confessions, and the troubling behavior of police officials. Stuart's impeccable research for the book included a review of the complete legal records of the case, an examination of all the physical evidence, a survey of three years of print and broadcast news, and more than fifty personal interviews related to the case. Like In Cold Blood, and The Executioner's Song, Innocent Until Interrogated is a riveting read that provides not only a striking account of the crime and the investigation but also a disturbing look at the American justice system at its very worst.

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