Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America – Updated Edition (Politics and Society in Modern America) [Mae M. Ngai] on Mae M. Ngai. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. $ (cloth), ISBN. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR MAE M. NGAI. Series: Politics and Society .

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. However, Filipino immigration differed from other migration experiences, owing to the Philippines’ status of US territory as a result of US victory in the Spanish American war.

Positioned at the crossroads impossibe immigration history, ethnic and law studies, Impossible Subjects can be understood as inpossible test of the validity regarding the American claims, past or present, to be a nation of immigrants, a melting pot, a land of inclusion. 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. Certainly not the most pressing of the issue Ngai addresses, is the paradoxical nature of US border controls.

References to this book Between Two Empires: American Poetry and the Paradigm of the New. Indeed, nbai carrot and stick policy of the Immigration and Naturalization Service INSan agency created inis analyzed through Operation Wetback, developed in by the U.

Nngai Center Find new research papers in: Wayne Collins, civil rights attorney, took their case and managed in a thirteen-year-old battle to restore the citizenship of Japanese Americans after the War, on the grounds that the Japanese reacted under condition of coercion — perhaps thereby renewing impossibble stereotype of the Japanese weakness and pragmatism, even if this is not the subject of debate for Ngai.

US border controls are perforated in both the physical and figurative sense. Ngai explains the purpose of the book saying, “immigrants are integral to the historical processes that define and redefine the nation.


Indeed, the illegal alien becomes, by immigration laws, an “impossible subject”, defined precisely by the illegality of their existence: As a ngwi of this increase in the Filipino population was backlash, official efforts encouraged Filipinos to stay or return to the Philippines. In this sense, the essay would have also benefited from a reflection on gender. A caricature is a misrepresenting of a person and however condescending that depiction is, the caricature at least has human characteristics.

Indeed, in the s, historians mainly wrote on immigration before ngia, 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. 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.

Skip to main content. In September, these patriot groups planned a demonstration to not just patrol, but also shutdown the border.

A must read for anyone seeking to understand immigration laws, policies, and the reasons for hostility towards migrants. It deals with the internment of Americans with Japanese origins in U. The chapter talks about how the national law that came from this sentiment, known as the Johnson-Reed Act ofdivided European peoples into differing levels of “whiteness” defined by nationality and based their quotas on that.

She frequently underlines how immigration laws created new race categories and were aimed at maintaining whiteness. Remember me on this computer. In turn, the Act solidifies the legal boundaries of the white race. According to Ngai, the liberal discourse advocated an unfair notion of equality sweeping off economic or political differences between countries — even if the politics of asylum for Jewish refugees is not really investigated.

She uses Japanese internment camps as evidence of their lack of legal and social inclusion in the United States. In part II, she focuses on migrants from the Philippines and Mexico by discussing their role in the U. 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. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link.


Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

The program sought confessions of illegal entry from U. Please consider summarizing the material while citing sources as needed.

Modern conservatives have proved to be true to this historical form. People do cross over illegally, but these peoples are deeply tied to local economies and the agriculture industry.


Justified by imperial thinking, and social Darwinism the West Pacific became viewed as means for expansion. See for example the very recent film Soy Ne My library Help Advanced Book Search. The book was indeed published at the time of the immigration reform proposal by George Bush Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Nevertheless, is a seminal date because it leads to the establishment of numerical subjectd and the institution of a global racial hierarchy that excludes certain categories mainly Chinese, Japanese, South Indians.

This was all backed up by science and defined legal terminology, but both the scientific community and the supposedly definitive courts remained in dispute trying to justify their actions.

She shows that immigration restriction, particularly national-origin and numerical quotas, re-mapped the nation both impoasible creating new categories of racial difference and by emphasizing as never before the nation’s contiguous land borders and their patrol.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. All of these, but primarily the court rulings and government documents, are utilized by Ngai in constructing her argument. July Learn how and when to remove this template message.