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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She frequently underlines how immigration laws created new race categories and were aimed at maintaining whiteness. 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.

This article possibly contains original research. This article relies too much on references to primary sources.

During the s there was the mass migration of Filipinos to major metropolitan areas. No eBook available Amazon.

The renunciation by Japanese of their American citizenship is a real crisis of citizenship and probably one of the darkest episodes in the history of civil rights in the United States since the Jim Crow laws.

This was all backed up by science and defined legal terminology, but both the scientific community and the supposedly definitive impossiible remained in dispute trying to justify their actions. However, within the s Filipinos replaced Japanese farmers who now faced quotas because of the immigration act of and found employment within the service sector on the West Coast. With a mixture of Japanese and American politics, culture camps subjscts both the anniversary of Lincoln and the Emperor, exemplifying the tension generated by patriotic ties both to the US and Japan.


The author was a labor-union organizer before becoming Professor of history and Asian American Studies at Columbia University. Ngai utilizes a dense amount of primary source material in Impossible Subjects. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

However, Filipinos faced retaliation by whites who claimed Filipinos were saturating the agricultural section shbjects cheap labor and taking their jobs. 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. See for example the very recent film Soy Ne The chapter ends by talking about how Mexicans and other Americans south of the United States were left unaffected by this law which, as their agricultural labor was still necessary, deemed them “white”.

All of these, but primarily the court rulings and government documents, are utilized by Ngai in constructing her argument. Subjecta enforcement by some states has manifested new and concerning developments in Americans long and ugly immigration history. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

Indeed, the illegal alien becomes, by immigration laws, an “impossible subject”, defined precisely by the illegality of their existence: This section may be too long and excessively detailed. Princeton University Press- History – pages. It talks about how anti-immigrant nativist groups, influenced by an ending industrial revolution that negated the need for a constant source of cheap labor among other factorsbegan demanding and passing tough immigration laws that restricted or sometimes outright banned immigration from European and Asian countries.

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


Account Options Sign in. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. The sources used cover a wide range of mediums. In part IV, she analyzes the next era in immigration policy which she suggests is embodied in the Hart-Cellar Act.


Ngai implies that the equalizing and egalitarian narrative of US immigration history, and by extension the idea of American exceptionalism, is a falsely ascribed—and hardly deserved—narrative. Ngai graduated from Empire State College with a B.

June Learn how and when to remove this template message. History at the University of Chicago. Please help improve this article subjecta adding citations to reliable sources.

Impossible Subjects – Wikipedia

She concludes part IV by showing how the immigration policies during the time period after contributed to increased illegal immigration and heightened a seemingly unsolvable problem going forward. It culminated in the Denationalization act of July that authorized citizens to make a voluntary submects of citizenship. She discusses how immigration policy was affected during the years of by World War II. In his review in The New YorkerLouis Menard praises Ngai’s book for demonstrating how the categories of “legal” and “illegal” immigrants “are administrative constructions, always subject to change; they do not tell us anything about the desirability of the persons so constructed.

Some examples are personal writings, oral histories, photographs, government documents, court rulings, and contemporary books. This article needs additional citations for verification. Learn how and when to remove these template messages.