Model Immigrants and Undesirable Aliens: The Cost of Immigration Reform in the 1990s

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The central argument of this book is that debates over US immigration legislation in the s must be understood as part of a broader expansion of neoliberal policy and thought in the United States. Gerken identifies three discursive strands that dominated debates over immigration legislation in and The second discursive strand concerns reforms directed at unauthorized immigrants.

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The third strand moves the book's focus from congressional debates to media coverage of immigration issues during the same period. This book should be very useful to scholars of US immigration politics in the current period. In particular, its attention to the language that came to dominate immigration discourse provides critical links in the analytical chain that connect power, inequality, and popular discourse. With these strengths in mind, the analysis could have been further strengthened with an explicit and more complex theorization of neoliberalism.

In particular, Gerken's tight focus and careful attention to detail provides valuable insight into a moment that marked a crucial turning point in how US political discourse framed immigration policy and persistent structural inequality more generally.

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If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. International Migration Review Volume 49, Issue 3. Book Review Free Access. Tools Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Citing Literature.

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One in particular H. A correlated bill has been introduced in the Senate S. By withholding up to 50 percent of the DHS funds from the cities, the proposed legislation was evidently targeting sanctuary cities whose policies are seen as protecting immigrant rights. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, to mention only a few, are prime examples of how some small towns have adopted sanctuary policies.

By granting all residents municipal identification cards, thus helping the unauthorized to access public and even some private sector services, New Haven encourages all immigrants to trust public officials and helps them and the new Haven community at large to live safely. Section g of the Act made it possible for state and local law-enforcement persons, such as police officers, to enter into agreements with the federal government to be trained in immigration enforcement, and, subsequent to the training, to enforce immigration law. However, it provided no general power for immigration enforcement by state and local authorities.

Several local and state officials have accepted to enroll into the program and are, as a result, authorized to arrest and detain individuals for immigration violations and to investigate immigration cases. In July she signed a law in favor of employer sanctions, threatening to suspend their activity.


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By embracing this notoriously problematic experiment, the new administration is not in line, to say the least, with the reform it has promised, and is already facing serious protest. It underscores the wide range of views held by public officials and local communities on the subject of immigration management and the way they interact with unauthorized populations in particular.

With a view to discerning the powers of the federal and state governments over noncitizens, Victor Romero examines what constitutional lawyers consider as the two sources that give authority to the federal government: the text of the Constitution and the decisions of the U. Supreme Court interpreting that text. The Constitution says even less about the power of the states over noncitizens. In contrast, it strictly reviews state and local laws on the theoretical basis that noncitizens do not migrate to an individual state, but to the United States as a country.

Such contrast in the deference granted to the federal government over noncitizens and the systematic review states have been subjected to, Romero contends, is likely to be scrutinized in the coming years as more and more states and localities try to extend their immigration power. It is thus likely, indeed, that state and local governments will only legislate more. State laws evidence such diverging views.

Her ensuing proposition draws on her understanding of the intricacy of the situation:.

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The primary function states and localities play in this structure is to integrate immigrants, legal and illegal alike, into the body politic. By demonstrating how states play this role, I establish the proposition that immigration regulation should be included in the list of … state interests, such as education, crime control and the regulation of safety and welfare, not just because immigration affects each of those interests, but also because managing immigrant movement is itself a state interest.

Benhabib challenges membership as defined by the doctrine of state sovereignty: in other words, when regulated in terms of national citizenship only. To her, such modalities are no longer adequate. Consequently, urban settings - global cities in particular - have become spaces where political practices have actively developed. Among the multiple actors who have emerged in such productive spaces are the unauthorized migrants. This text is under a Creative Commons license : Attribution-Noncommercial 2.

European journal of American studies. Contents - Previous document. Abstract In the likely event that immigration reform will be discussed again in the U. Index terms Top of page. Outline 1. The Criminalization of Unauthorized Immigrants. Who Controls and Manages Immigration, Anyway?

Conclusion: Immigrants as Emergent Political Subjects. Full text PDF Send by e-mail. Introduction 1 Immigration reform, political analysts agree, is definitely on the agenda of the Obama administration and could seemingly be introduced into the U. It is interesting to see how the AFL-CIO which, until the late s, showed little concern for foreign-origin workers, is now at the forefront of the defense of immigrant rights.

Model Immigrants and Undesirable Aliens: The Cost of Immigration Reform in the 1990s

The organization has seemingly overcome its anti-immigrant sentiments, now acknowledging the presence of immigrant workers — even the undocumented ones - in major sectors of the American economy, and the necessity to address their needs. Posted by Arnoldo Garcia. Here, Buff quotes Kanstroom. Michaelsen is quoted by Rachel I. Whose Security? Proponents of such policies argue that they promote efforts of police and health departments to cooperate with immigrant communities in order to reduce crime and improve public health in those communities.

A New York Times article dated November 29, listed 32 cities or counties with such policies. Some cities implemented sanctuary as early as the s, others more recently. Sanctuary policies may be formal and written in the form of a local ordinance or informal. When mayors-elect inherit them, they may retreat or decide to reaffirm their support of unauthorized immigrants — such is the case of Gavin Newsome in San Francisco. They may also continue adopting them - this was the case of former New York City mayor Rudolf Giuliani who inherited Executive Order 41 from the previous mayoral administration.

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Accessed September 1, United States, Fong Yue Ting v.



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