I knew there were ample primary sources out there on what the Irish thought about race and racial identity. And as I dug into them in the course of my own research, I realized how much these previous scholars had missed by not listening to the immigrants’ voices. I learned, for example, that the differences between whites (along Celt/Saxon lines) were just as important, in the minds of many Irish, as the differences between whites and people of color. Moreover, the Irish talked about identity in transnational terms; they thought of themselves as members of a global community, capable of being Irish whether at home or abroad. These conclusions complicated, I realized, what many scholars have taken for granted regarding immigrant identity in the nineteenth century.
The recent debate over the exact status of the tens of thousands of Central American children attempting to cross the U.S. border reminds us that there is often a very fine line dividing an immigrant from a refugee. It turns out that, according to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, a majority of Americans—regardless of age or political or religious affiliation—view these children as refugees rather than as illegal immigrants. Of course, the term “refugee” designates a special legal status that carries a wide range of political and bureaucratic implications.
In reality, scholarship in the fields of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies defies such easy simplifications, revealing that the struggle for citizenship, inclusion, and social justice in this country has historic, deep roots, and that forces for change do not always begin and end in Washington.
Some of the deepest costs of our prohibitionist immigration system have to do with family. And they’re not just emotional costs—they’re economic costs as well.
Fugitive slaves were the illegal immigrants of their time.
But there is another historically significant dimension to the decision that has received less media attention: ceding to states greater authority to regulate immigration would have represented a significant devolution in federal power.
The prevalence of xenophobia in diverse places and historical periods invites us to reflect on its common causes and consequences.
Only dramatic action seems to be listened to in our society. Go for it. Blowout!
On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, we share an excerpt from Jennifer Guglielmo’s book Living the Revolution.
We welcome a guest post from Hannah Gill, author of The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina: New Roots in the Old North State, who updates us on recent political activity regarding the Latino immigrant community in Durham, North Carolina.–ellen <br /> On November 15, 2010, Durham City adopted a resolution supporting recognition of the …
As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we welcome a guest post from Hannah Gill, author of The Latino Migrant Experience in North Carolina: New Roots in the Old North State. In the book, Gill offers North Carolinians from all walks of life a better understanding of their Latino neighbors, bringing light instead of heat …