MAE NGAI IMPOSSIBLE SUBJECTS PDF

Mae Ngai offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the s—its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects. Even as we have allowed legal immigrants, mostly from Europe, through the front door, we have always permitted others, generally people of color, to slip in the back gate to do essential jobs. Ngai creates that possibility, through altering our vision of immigration history, in showing us the constructed and contingent nature of its legal regulation. Impossible Subjects is essential reading.

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Mae Ngai offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the s—its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects.

Even as we have allowed legal immigrants, mostly from Europe, through the front door, we have always permitted others, generally people of color, to slip in the back gate to do essential jobs. Ngai creates that possibility, through altering our vision of immigration history, in showing us the constructed and contingent nature of its legal regulation.

Impossible Subjects is essential reading. Reimers, International History Review "Ngai has produced a valuable reinterpretation of twentieth-century American immigration history, one that will push other scholars of race, immigration, and policy in new directions as well.

This stunning history of U. Everyone in the field of race and immigration should read this thought provoking book. Ngai addresses the subject. Impossible subjects is a beautifully executed and important contribution: judicious yet impassioned, crisply written, eye-opening, and at moments fully devastating.

All of which is to say, brilliant. Would that such a story need not be told. Employing rich archival evidence and case studies, Ngai marvelously shows how immigration law was used as a tool to fashion American racial policy particularly toward Asians and Mexicans though the differential employment of concepts such as "illegal aliens," "national origins," and "racial ineligibility to citizenship".

For those weaned on the liberal rhetoric of an immigrant America this will be a most eye-opening read. This history explains why struggles over race, immigration, and citizenship continue today.

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Positioned at the crossroads of immigration history, ethnic and law studies, Impossible Subjects can be understood as a test of the validity regarding the American claims, past or present, to be a nation of immigrants, a melting pot, a land of inclusion. The author was a labor-union organizer before becoming Professor of history and Asian American Studies at Columbia University. Indeed, in the s, historians mainly wrote on immigration before , an era of open immigration from Europe and laissez-faire, or the period post when the national quota of origins was abolished and immigration from the Third World increased 1. Indeed, the illegal alien becomes, by immigration laws, an "impossible subject", defined precisely by the illegality of their existence: their inclusion in the nation is a social reality but a legal impossibility—they are subjects without rights and excluded from citizenship. The essay first analyses the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act.

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Synopsis[ edit ] In part one, Ngai begins with discussing the implications of immigration restriction in the s by particularly focusing on border patrol and immigration policy which she argues results in a changing discourse about race. In part II, she focuses on migrants from the Philippines and Mexico by discussing their role in the U. She uses Japanese internment camps as evidence of their lack of legal and social inclusion in the United States. In part IV, she analyzes the next era in immigration policy which she suggests is embodied in the Hart-Celler Act.

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