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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Ngai published by Princeton University Press in This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.

See for example the very recent film Soy Ne Labelled as undocumented workers and contract laborers, the Mexican and Filipino immigration helped to constitute the notion of whiteness 3.

Nevertheless, the program only records short-term successes. Ngai and published in by Princeton University Press. This section may be too long and excessively detailed. It deals with the internment of Americans with Japanese origins in U. Ngai shows how the institutions viewed Japanese Americans as racial children subiects need of democratic tutelage, in a way which is not dissimilar to claims ijpossible black Americans.

Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Ngai vigorously opposes this stereotype as it elides the existence of large numbers of working-class immigrants and undocumented workers or refugees.

History at the University of Chicago. The subhects, criticized as a new bracero program, thus emphasized the acute character of illegal immigration in the United States in its contemporary ramifications 4. Questions of fundamental legal status created new challenges for liberal democratic society and have directly informed the politics ssubjects multiculturalism and national belonging in our time.

The impressive compilation of institutional archives has to be noted, some of which previously unstudied, such as the U. Eventually, globalization triggers a push-and-pull migration from developing countries to low-wage sectors in the United States, leading to new forms of illegal aliens.

Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America – Mae M. Ngai – Google Books

If a lot of Nissei second-generation Japanese, born in America and with imposxible American citizenship renounced their American citizenship, nationalism within the Japanese population was overestimated according to Ngai — this renunciation is, according to her, an angry reaction against American politics rather than a desire for repatriation.


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.

Indeed, these years paved the way for an increased subjedts from the Third World and continued American commitment to numerical restrictions by the imposition of quotas on Western hemisphere countries.

US border controls are perforated in both the physical and figurative sense. Nevertheless, is a seminal date because it leads to the establishment of numerical limits and the institution of a global racial hierarchy that excludes certain categories mainly Chinese, Japanese, South Indians.

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. Liberals also remained ambivalent about immigration from the Third World, as demonstrated by the McCarran Walter Act.

Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. All of these, but primarily the court rulings and government documents, are utilized by Ngai in constructing her argument. Lastly, she says that she does not want to resolve the problems of immigration policy, but rather to inform the reader of how flexible legislation and public opinion are.

In this sense, the essay would have also benefited from a reflection on gender. She discusses how immigration policy was affected during the years of by World War II. A must read for anyone seeking to understand immigration laws, policies, and the reasons for hostility towards migrants.

Filipinos were portrayed in the Treaty of Paris as incapable of self-rule and the insular cases gave legal grounds for the U.

However, the presence of photographs, a sign of everyday history, foreshadows a stronger combination between a top-down legal history, and a social history from the bottom up. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chapter one gives a detailed description of the context and lead up to the restrictive immigration laws that are subsequently covered in the book.


Skip to main content. Without doubt, it is the most militant part, and probably also the least analytical. Account Options Sign in.


The switch from a positive image of the Japanese at the beginning of the century to the constitution of the Japanese enemy in the context of World War II is brilliantly analyzed. She also shows how ideas of eugenics and morality were used to justify the deportation of illegal aliens to their homeland. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Modern conservatives have proved to be true to this historical form. A caricature is a misrepresenting of a person and however condescending that depiction is, the caricature at least has human characteristics.

Please consider summarizing the material while citing sources as needed. It culminated in the Denationalization act of July that authorized citizens to make a voluntary renunciation of citizenship. Given that Ngai is a U. Oral sources, if they are present in the list of archives, remain singularly absent in the narrative, which is dominated by the study of the changing design of the nation-state based on a stricter enforcement of national sovereignty.

Ngai confronts so many confounding issues that its hard to surmise which one is more egregious or most pressing than the next.

The court cases are also used to show how the United States judicial system and the government approached the legality of immigration and assimilation over time. The reader learns that the internment was also intended for American Germans and Italians but the latter were released the following month by the FBI.

Click here to sign up. The book was indeed published at the time of the immigration subjectw proposal by Xubjects Bush 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.

Impossible subjects illegal aliens and the making of modern America.