- Series: Maping Racisms
- Paperback: 376 pages
- Publisher: Temple University Press; 1 edition (December 29, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592132332
- ISBN-13: 978-1592132331
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #996,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Defining America: Through Immigration Policy 1st Edition
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"In a tour de force of detailed facts and legal citations, [Hing] wades through the complex legal measures that have guided immigration law and policy over more than two centuries, at each stage linking specific legal actions with dominant views of the 'ordinary American.'"-Law & Politics Book Review "Read this book. It is the best survey of the history of U.S. immigration policy to be published in at least a half-century and perhaps ever.... Defining America through Immigration Policy is a dazzling book with a moral core. In the end it is a hopeful book as well."-Pacific Historical Review "This is a welcome, hard-headed palliative to certain narratives about US immigration history.... the value of this book lies more in the scope of erudition about US immigration history and his mastery of many facets of that vast, complex, and controversial history that has indeed defined America as claimed."-Ethnic and Racial Studies "Professor Hing is the rare policy scholar who can provide extensive historical information while making it accessible, interesting and enjoyable for the reader. His new book provides the same type of thoughtful analyses.... Overall the book makes an important contribution to immigration history, ethnic studies and public policy. It provides one of the first comprehensive reviews of the tensions between wanted and unwanted immigrants from a policy perspective. It also provides insights into why we hold certain beliefs about immigrants and immigration policy."-Journal of Ethnic History "[An] insightful, entertaining book [is] a must read for anyone interested in the field of US immigration and the defining of the American character."-Choice "Engagingly contemporary (with historical roots) and at the same time carefully detailed in its coverage, Defining America through Immigration Policy is on the forefront of immigration law and policy theorizing. Hing's structure is straightforward, and his framework for organizing the wide range of immigration law issues is effective. He tells a compelling and disturbing social/legal story that gives human faces to congressional acts, executive policies, and frontline enforcement. Hing's blended approach-chronological, contextual, and specific-provides a readily accessible way into what could otherwise be an information morass. This significant strength distinguishes Defining America through Political Participation."-Eric K. Yamamoto, Professor of Law, University of Hawaii School of Law "Defining America through Immigration Policy is an excellent book that can be recommended enthusiastically. Bill Ong Hing is a leading scholar of immigration. This book is a landmark work. Hing is thorough, and covers everything from Benjamin Franklin's attacks on German immigrants to the nativism of the turn-of-the-century directed towards Asians, Southern and Eastern Europeans, Catholics and Jews to contemporary border enforcement, undocumented migration, deportation procedures, and internal migration. He conveys the breadth and depth of his research with ample documentation and presents progressive arguments that should influence policy-makers."-Frank H. Wu, Professor of Law, Howard University, and author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White "[Hing's] understanding of history, drawn from personal experience andparticipation, is piercing and helps to put the recent hysteria inperspective. In his book, he applies the lessons of his decades-longresearch and experience to fundamental issues at a critical time in ournation's history."-from the Foreword by Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
From the Publisher
From the American Revolution to the war in Iraq, the struggle to define who isand can becomean American
Top customer reviews
The first part is a little dry and repetitive with information already covered in part in such books as CIVIL RIGHTS IN IMMIGRATION by Milton Konvitz (Cornell, 1952) and Oscar Card in NATIONALISM & RACE IN AMERICA (Anchor Books, 1957). However, Professor Hing does provide some info not included in these other books.
The second part is more exciting, covering the 1986 amnesty bill and Operation Gatekeeper with brief detours to former Nazi collaborators, John Lennon's case and Iranian students during the hostage crisis. One excellent argument Professor Hing makes here is how the US spends more and more money on the "War on Drugs" Crusade to little effect while repeating the same mistake on human smuggling and clandestine crossings. (A libertarian irony is how many Americans favor legalized drugs--or at least decriminilization of marihuana, but tighter punitive measures on the border for clandestine crossings. Rand Paul, for instance.) He also, surprisingly, points out the "morality" of certain US border-enforcement policies--namely, the Clinton-initiated "Gatekeeper." True, this point may be subjective to a degree and difficult to argue for, but it is comforting to hear older liberals and progressives still use the word "moral" and "morality." Another example, would be when one of the producers of the documentary film, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH was making his acceptance speech for an Academy Award, he referred to global warming as a "moral issue" as opposed to a mere environmental one. The reason I point this out is that both conservatives and liberals relegate morals and morality to mere sexual ethics, when in reality it is much more than just that. My own opposition to the Death Penalty, for example, is a moral choice and has ABOSULUTELY NOTHING to do on whether it serves as a deterrant or not or even out of fear of executing the wrong person.
A final note is that the book could have used better editing or at least have been more tightly written. However, it still remains a very much recommended book.