The Immigration Crucible: Transforming Race, Nation, and the Limits of the Law

Kobo ebook | August 16, 2011

byPhilip Kretsedemas

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In the debate over U.S. immigration, all sides now support policy and practice that expand the parameters of enforcement. While immigration control forces lobby for intensifying enforcement for reasons that are transparently connected to their policy agenda, and pro-immigration forces favor the liberalization of migrant flows and more fluid labor market regulation, these transformations, meant to grow global trade and commerce networks, also enlarge the extralegal (or marginally legal) discretionary powers of the state and encourage a more enforcement-heavy governing agenda.

Philip Kretsedemas examines these developments from several different perspectives; exploring recent trends in U.S. immigration policy, the rise in extralegal state power over the course of the twentieth century, and discourses on race, nation and cultural difference that have influenced the policy and academic discourse on immigration. He also analyzes the recent expansion of local immigration laws—including the controversial Arizona immigration law enacted in the summer of 2010—and explains how forms of extralegal discretionary authority have become more prevalent in federal immigration policy, making the dispersion of these local immigration laws possible. While connecting these extralegal state powers to a free flow position on immigration, he also observes how these same discretionary powers have historically been used to control racial minority populations (particularly African American populations under Jim Crow). This kind of discretionary authority often appeals to "states rights" arguments, recently revived by immigration control advocates to support the expansion of local immigration laws. Using these and other examples, Kretsedemas explains how both sides of the immigration debate have converged on the issue of enforcement and how, despite different interests, each faction has shaped the commonsense assumptions currently defining the scope and limits of the debate.

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In the debate over U.S. immigration, all sides now support policy and practice that expand the parameters of enforcement. While immigration control forces lobby for intensifying enforcement for reasons that are transparently connected to their policy agenda, and pro-immigration forces favor the liberalization of migrant flows and more ...

Philip Kretsedemas is associate professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the coeditor of Keeping Out the Other: A Critical Introduction to Immigration Enforcement Today and Immigrants, Welfare Reform, and the Poverty of Policy.

other books by Philip Kretsedemas

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Paperback|Oct 16 2015

$59.65 online$62.90list price(save 5%)
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:August 16, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231527322

ISBN - 13:9780231527323

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
1. Introduction: An Untimely Intervention on the U.S. Immigration Debate
Puzzling Evidence: The Contradictions of Immigration Enforcement and the Politics of Immigration Policy
Immigrants and State Power: On the Margins of the Law
2. A Different Kind of Immigration, a New Kind of Statelessness
Almost Stateless: Migrant Marginality in an Era of "Nonimmigration"
Policing Professional-Class Migrant Workers
Racial-Ethnic Disparities and Nonimmigrant Flows
Permutations of Statelessness
3. The Secret Life of the State
On Necessity, Revolution, and the Modern State
The Expansion of Executive Authority Under the Modern Presidency
"Populist Rebellion" and the Neoliberal State
Executive Authority, Globalization, and Immigration Policy
Applying Executive Discretion to Immigration Enforcement
4. Concerned Citizens, Local Exclusions: Local Immigration Laws and the Legacy of Jim Crow
Local Enforcement and Local Immigration Laws: The Policy Context
Segregation or Coercive Integration? The Political Dynamics and Outcomes of Local Exclusionary Laws
Interpreting the Law: Egalitarian Norms/Inegalitarian Practices
Racial Disparities, Local Enforcement, and the Silence of the Law
5. Race, Nation, Immigration: Stranded at the Crossroads of Liberal Thought
Beyond the Limits of the Law
Cultural Pluralism, Ethnicity Theory, and the Problem of Laissez-Faire Racism
Unlikely Convergences: Liberal Multiculturalism and Cultural Conservatism
Looking Beyond the Cultural Primordialist vs. Social Constructionist Divide
The Immigrant as an Agent of Transformation
A Nietzschean Critique of "Race Thinking"
The Problem with Practicality
Rethinking the Nation: A New American Dilemma
6. Conclusion: The Immigration Crucible
Immigration Policy and Enforcement Under the Obama Administration
Immigration Policy, National Identity, and the Limits of Executive Authority
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

This thought-provoking book would fit in well in graduate courses on twentieth-century North American immigration history, as well as political science courses on migration and citizenship.