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The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11
In the aftermath of 9/11, many Arab and Muslim Americans came under intense scrutiny by federal and local authorities, as well as their own neighbors, on the chance that they might know, support, or actually be terrorists. As Louise Cainkar observes, even U.S.-born Arabs and Muslims were portrayed as outsiders, an image that was amplified in the months after the attacks. She argues that 9/11 did not create anti-Arab and anti-Muslim suspicion; rather, their socially constructed images and social and political exclusion long before these attacks created an environment in which misunderstanding and hostility could thrive and the government could defend its use of profiling. Combining analysis and ethnography, Homeland Insecurity provides an intimate view of what it means to be an Arab or a Muslim in a country set on edge by the worst terrorist attack in its history. Focusing on the metropolitan Chicago area, Cainkar conducted more than a hundred research interviews and five in-depth oral histories. In this, the most comprehensive ethnographic study of the post-9/11 period for American Arabs and Muslims, native-born and immigrant Palestinians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Yemenis, Sudanese, Jordanians, and others speak candidly about their lives as well as their experiences with government, public mistrust, discrimination, and harassment after 9/11. The book reveals that Arab Muslims were more likely to be attacked in certain spatial contexts than others and that Muslim women wearing the hijab were more vulnerable to assault than men, as their head scarves were interpreted by some as a rejection of American culture. Even as the 9/11 Commission never found any evidence that members of Arab- or Muslim-American communities were involved in the attacks, respondents discuss their feelings of insecurity—a heightened sense of physical vulnerability and exclusion from the guarantees of citizenship afforded other Americans. Yet the vast majority of those interviewed for Homeland Insecurity report feeling optimistic about the future of Arab and Muslim life in the United States. Most of the respondents talked about their increased interest in the teachings of Islam, whether to counter anti-Muslim slurs or to better educate themselves. Governmental and popular hostility proved to be a springboard for heightened social and civic engagement. Immigrant organizations, religious leaders, civil rights advocates, community organizers, and others defended Arabs and Muslims and built networks with their organizations. Local roundtables between Arab and Muslim leaders, law enforcement, and homeland security agencies developed better understanding of Arab and Muslim communities. These post-9/11 changes have given way to stronger ties and greater inclusion in American social and political life. Will the United States extend its values of freedom and inclusion beyond the politics of “us” and “them” stirred up after 9/11? The answer is still not clear. Homeland Insecurity is keenly observed and adds Arab and Muslim American voices to this still-unfolding period in American history.
States, Borders, and the Other Side of Globalization
Illicit Flows and Criminal Things offers a new perspective on illegal transnational linkages, international relations, and the transnational. The contributors argue for a nuanced approach that recognizes the difference between "organized" crime and the thousands of illicit acts that take place across national borders every day. They distinguish between the illegal (prohibited by law) and the illicit (socially perceived as unacceptable), which are historically changeable and contested. Detailed case studies of arms smuggling, illegal transnational migration, the global diamond trade, borderland practices, and the transnational consumption of drugs take us to Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America. They allow us to understand how states, borders, and the language of law enforcement produce criminality, and how people and goods which are labeled "illegal" move across regulatory spaces.
Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930
Although popularly conceived as a relatively recent phenomenon, patterns of immigrant smuggling and undocumented entry across American land borders first emerged in the late nineteenth century. Ingenious smugglers and immigrants, long and remote boundary lines, and strong push-and-pull factors created porous borders then, much as they do now. Historian Patrick Ettinger offers the first comprehensive historical study of evolving border enforcement efforts on American land borders at the turn of the twentieth century. He traces the origins of widespread immigrant smuggling and illicit entry on the northern and southern United States borders at a time when English, Irish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Lebanese, Japanese, Greek, and, later, Mexican migrants created various “backdoors” into the United States. No other work looks so closely at the sweeping, if often ineffectual, innovations in federal border enforcement practices designed to stem these flows. From upstate Maine to Puget Sound, from San Diego to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, federal officials struggled to adapt national immigration policies to challenging local conditions, all the while battling wits with resourceful smugglers and determined immigrants. In effect, the period saw the simultaneous “drawing” and “erasing” of the official border, and its gradual articulation and elaboration in the midst of consistently successful efforts to undermine it.
The Clash of Romance and Race in American Perceptions, 1880-1910
Integrating history, literary criticism, and cultural studies, Imagining Italians vividly tells the story of two voyages across the Atlantic: America’s cultural pilgrimage to Italy and the Italian “racial odyssey” in America. It examines how American representations of Italy, Italians, and Italian Americans engaged with national debates over immigration, race, and national identity during the period 1880–1910. Joseph P. Cosco offers a close analysis of selected works by immigrant journalists Jacob Riis and Edward Steiner and American iconographic writers Henry James and Mark Twain. Exploring their Italian depictions in journalism, photos, travel narratives, and fiction, he rediscovers the forgotten Edward Steiner and offers fresh readings of Riis’s reform efforts and photography, James’s The Golden Bowl and The American Scene, and Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson.
Interethnic and Interracial Encounters in New York before 1930
Examining race and ethnic relations through an intersectional lens, Shirley Yee's An Immigrant Neighborhoodinvestigates the ways that race, class, and gender together shaped concepts of integration and assimilation as well as whiteness and citizenship in lower Manhattan during the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries.
In contrast to accounts of insulated neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves, Yee unearths the story of working class urban dwellers of various ethnic groups—Chinese, Jews, Italians, and Irish—routinely interacting in social and economic settings.
Yee's numerous, fascinating anecdotes—such as one about an Irishman who served as the only funeral director for Chinese for many years—recount the lived experiences of these neighborhoods, detailing friendships, business relationships, and sexual relationships that vividly counter the prevailing idea that different ethnic groups did not mix except in ways marked by violence and hostility.
Punctuated by marches across the United States in the spring of 2006, immigrant rights has reemerged as a significant and highly visible political issue. Immigrant Rights in the Shadows of U.S. Citizenship brings prominent activists and scholars together to examine the emergence and significance of the contemporary immigrant rights movement. Contributors place the contemporary immigrant rights movement in historical and comparative contexts by looking at the ways immigrants and their allies have staked claims to rights in the past, and by examining movements based in different communities around the United States. Scholars explain the evolution of immigration policy, and analyze current conflicts around issues of immigrant rights; activists engaged in the current movement document the ways in which coalitions have been built among immigrants from different nations, and between immigrant and native born peoples. The essays examine the ways in which questions of immigrant rights engage broader issues of identity, including gender, race, and sexuality.
To date, most research on immigrant women and labor forces has focused on the participation of immigrant women on formal labor markets. In this study, contributors focus on informal economies such as health care, domestic work, and the garment industry, where displaced and undocumented women are more likely to work. Because such informal labor markets are unregulated, many of these workers face abusive working conditions that are not reported for fear of job loss or deportation. In examining the complex dynamics of how immigrant women navigate political and economic uncertainties, this collection highlights the important role of citizenship status in defining immigrant women's opportunities, wages, and labor conditions. Contributors are Pallavi Banerjee, Grace Chang, Margaret M. Chin, Jennifer Jihye Chun, Hector R. Cordero-Guzman, Emir Estrada, Lucy Fisher, Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Ruth Gomberg-Munoz, Anna Romina Guevarra, Shobha Hamal Gurung, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Maria de la Luz Ibarra, Miliann Kang, George Lipsitz, Lolita Andrada Lledo, Lorena Murioz, Bandana Purkayastha, Mary Romero, Young Shin, Michelle Tellez, and Maura I. Toro-Morn.
The Impact of Welfare Reform on America's Newcomers
The lore of the immigrant who comes to the United States to take advantage of our welfare system has a long history in America’s collective mythology, but it has little basis in fact. The so-called problem of immigrants on the dole was nonetheless a major concern of the 1996 welfare reform law, the impact of which is still playing out today. While legal immigrants continue to pay taxes and are eligible for the draft, welfare reform has severely limited their access to government supports in times of crisis. Edited by Michael Fix, Immigrants and Welfare rigorously assesses the welfare reform law, questions whether its immigrant provisions were ever really necessary, and examines its impact on legal immigrants’ ability to integrate into American society. Immigrants and Welfare draws on fields from demography and law to developmental psychology. The first part of the volume probes the politics behind the welfare reform law, its legal underpinnings, and what it may mean for integration policy. Contributor Ron Haskins makes a case for welfare reform’s ultimate success but cautions that excluding noncitizen children (future workers) from benefits today will inevitably have serious repercussions for the American economy down the road. Michael Wishnie describes the implications of the law for equal protection of immigrants under the U.S. Constitution. The second part of the book focuses on empirical research regarding immigrants’ propensity to use benefits before the law passed, and immigrants’ use and hardship levels afterwards. Jennifer Van Hook and Frank Bean analyze immigrants’ benefit use before the law was passed in order to address the contested sociological theories that immigrants are inclined to welfare use and that it slows their assimilation. Randy Capps, Michael Fix, and Everett Henderson track trends before and after welfare reform in legal immigrants’ use of the major federal benefit programs affected by the law. Leighton Ku looks specifically at trends in food stamps and Medicaid use among noncitizen children and adults and documents the declining health insurance coverage of noncitizen parents and children. Finally, Ariel Kalil and Danielle Crosby use longitudinal data from Chicago to examine the health of children in immigrant families that left welfare. Even though few states took the federal government’s invitation with the 1996 welfare reform law to completely freeze legal immigrants out of the social safety net, many of the law’s most far-reaching provisions remain in place and have significant implications for immigrants. Immigrants and Welfare takes a balanced look at the politics and history of immigrant access to safety-net supports and the ongoing impacts of welfare.