Limit search to available items
Record 5 of 12
Previous Record Next Record
Book Cover
Author Ngai, Mae M.

Title Impossible subjects : illegal aliens and the making of modern America / Mae M. Ngai
Published Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2004]
Online access available from:
ACLS Humanities E-Book    View Resource Record  
JSTOR eBooks    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xx, 377 pages) : illustrations
Series Politics and society in twentieth-century America
Politics and society in twentieth-century America.
Contents List of figures and illustrations -- List of tables -- Acknowledgments -- Note on language and terminology -- Introduction : Illegal aliens : a problem of law and history -- pt. 1. The regime of quotas and papers -- 1. The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 and the reconstruction of race in immigration law -- 2. Deportation policy and the making and unmaking of illegal aliens -- pt. 2. Migrants at the margins of law and nation -- 3. From Colonial subject to undesirable alien : Filipino migration in the invisible empire -- 4. Braceros, "wetbacks," and the national boundaries of class -- pt. 3 War, nationalism, and alien citizenship -- 5. The World War II internment of Japanese Americans and the citizenship renunciation cases -- 6. The Cold War Chinese immigration crisis and the confession cases -- pt. 4. Pluralism and nationalism in post-World War II immigration reform -- 7. The liberal critique and reform of immigration policy -- Epilogue -- Appendix -- Notes -- Archival and other primary sources -- Index
Summary This book traces the origins of the "illegal alien" in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy--a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century. Mae Ngai offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the 1920s--its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects. In well-drawn historical portraits, Ngai peoples her study with the Filipinos, Mexicans, Japanese, and Chinese who comprised, variously, illegal aliens, alien citizens, colonial subjects, and imported contract workers. She shows that immigration restriction, particularly national-origin and numerical quotas, re-mapped the nation both by creating new categories of racial difference and by emphasizing as never before the nation's contiguous land borders and their patrol. This yielded the "illegal alien," a new legal and political subject whose inclusion in the nation was a social reality but a legal impossibility--a subject without rights and excluded from citizenship. Questions of fundamental legal status created new challenges for liberal democratic society and have directly informed the politics of multiculturalism and national belonging in our time. Ngai's analysis is based on extensive archival research, including previously unstudied records of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Contributing to American history, legal history, and ethnic studies, Impossible Subjects is a major reconsideration of U.S. immigration in the twentieth century.--Publisher description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 357-368) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Citizenship -- United States -- History.
Emigration and immigration law -- United States -- History.
Illegal aliens -- United States -- History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1299708803 (ebk)
1306513723 (electronic bk.)
1400843626 (electronic bk.)
1400850231 (electronic bk.)
9781299708808 (ebk)
9781306513722 (electronic bk.)
9781400843626 (electronic bk.)
9781400850235 (electronic bk.)
(cloth ; alk. paper)
(cloth ; alk. paper)