After They Closed The Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration To The United States, 1921-1965

Hardcover | March 28, 2014

byLibby Garland

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In 1921 and 1924, the United States passed laws to sharply reduce the influx of immigrants into the country. By allocating only small quotas to the nations of southern and eastern Europe, and banning almost all immigration from Asia, the new laws were supposed to stem the tide of foreigners considered especially inferior and dangerous. However, immigrants continued to come, sailing into the port of New York with fake passports, or from Cuba to Florida, hidden in the holds of boats loaded with contraband liquor. Jews, one of the main targets of the quota laws, figured prominently in the new international underworld of illegal immigration. However, they ultimately managed to escape permanent association with the identity of the “illegal alien” in a way that other groups, such as Mexicans, thus far, have not.

In After They Closed the Gates, Libby Garland tells the untold stories of the Jewish migrants and smugglers involved in that underworld, showing how such stories contributed to growing national anxieties about illegal immigration. Garland also helps us understand how Jews were linked to, and then unlinked from, the specter of illegal immigration. By tracing this complex history, Garland offers compelling insights into the contingent nature of citizenship, belonging, and Americanness.

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From the Publisher

In 1921 and 1924, the United States passed laws to sharply reduce the influx of immigrants into the country. By allocating only small quotas to the nations of southern and eastern Europe, and banning almost all immigration from Asia, the new laws were supposed to stem the tide of foreigners considered especially inferior and dangerous....

Libby Garland is assistant professor of history at Kingsborough Community College, The City University of New York.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:March 28, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022612245X

ISBN - 13:9780226122458

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Building the Apparatus of Immigration Control
2. American Law, Jewish Solidarity
3. Smuggling in Jews
4. Illicit Journeys
5. Battling Alien Registration
6. Abolishing the Quotas
Epilogue
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Breaking new ground, Garland argues that a historical view of immigration curtailment in the 1920s as a watershed moment has diverted attention from its continuation by other means. . . . [She] usefully expand[s] the discussion of the chronically freighted issue of race in the United States. . . [and] enhances understanding of how American Jews of diverse backgrounds and locales responded to pivotal events in twentieth-century American and European history.”