Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Gerken, Christina.

Title Model immigrants and undesirable aliens : the cost of immigration reform in the 1990s / Christina Gerken
Published Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 2013
Online access available from:
JSTOR eBooks    View Resource Record  
ProQuest Ebook Central Subscription Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (328 pages)
Contents Cover; Contents; Introduction: Building a Neoliberal Consensus; 1. Exclusionary Acts: A Brief History of U.S. Immigration Laws; 2. Family Values and Moral Obligations: The Logic of Congressional Rhetoric; 3. Dehumanizing the Undocumented: The Legislative Language of Illegality; 4. Manufacturing the Crisis: Encoded Racism in the Daily Press; 5. Entrepreneurial Spirits and Individual Failures: The Neoliberal Human- Interest Story; Conclusion: Legacies of Failed Reform; Acknowledgments; Notes; Bibliography; Index; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; X; Y
Summary "During 1995 and 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law three bills that altered the rights and responsibilities of immigrants: the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the Personal Responsibility Act, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Model Immigrants and Undesirable Aliens examines the changing debates around immigration that preceded and followed the passage of landmark legislation by the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, arguing that it represented a new, neoliberal way of thinking and talking about immigration. Christina Gerken explores the content and the social implications of the deliberations that surrounded the development and passage of immigration reform, analyzing a wide array of writings from congressional debates and committee reports to articles and human-interest stories in mainstream newspapers. The process, she shows, disguised its underlying racism by creating discursive strategies that shaped and upheld an image of "desirable" immigrants--those who could demonstrate "personal responsibility" and an ability to contribute to the U.S. economy. Gerken finds that politicians linked immigration to complex issues: poverty, welfare reform, so-called family values, measures designed to combat terrorism, and the spiraling costs of social welfare programs. Although immigrants were often at the center of congressional debates, politicians constructed an elaborate, abstract terminology that appeared to be unrelated to race or gender. Instead, politicians promoted neoliberal policies as the avenue to a postracist, postsexist world of opportunity for every rational consumer with an entrepreneurial spirit. Still, Gerken concludes that the passage of pathbreaking legislation was characterized by a useful tension between neoliberal assumptions and hidden anxieties about race, class, gender, and sexuality."-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Emigration and immigration law -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Immigrants -- Government policy -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Immigration enforcement -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Political asepcts -- History -- 20th century
United States -- Politics and government -- 1993-2001.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0816686297 (electronic bk.)
1461951283 (electronic bk.)
9780816686292 (electronic bk.)
9781461951285 (electronic bk.)