Americans in Waiting

Americans in Waiting : The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States

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Although America is unquestionably a nation of immigrants, its immigration policies have inspired more questions than consensus on who should be admitted and what the path to citizenship should be. In Americans in Waiting, Hiroshi Motomura looks to a forgotten part of our past to show how, for over 150 years, immigration was assumed to be a transition to citizenship, with immigrants essentially being treated as future citizens-Americans in waiting. Challenging current conceptions, the author deftly uncovers how this view, once so central to law and policy, has all but vanished. Motomura explains how America could create a more unified society by recovering this lost history and by giving immigrants more, but at the same time asking more of them. A timely, panoramic chronicle of immigration and citizenship in the United States, Americans in Waiting offers new ideas and a fresh perspective on current more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 340.19g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195336089
  • 9780195336085

Review quote

Motomura displays a great deal of legal erudition and writes with flair. Nevertheless, his analysis is accessible to those not specialized in immigration law or law in general. This important and original book is of broad interdisciplinary interest. * The International History Review * Legal scholars and practitioners will find the book's attention to detail particularly useful. The author examines a strikingly wide range of immigration case law, much of which is not typically included in the corpus of social scientific literature on immigration law. ...Americans in Waiting is a valuable addition to contemporary discussions of immigration and citizenship, especially at a time when the rush to pass comprehensive immigration reform has all but crowded out reflections on the nature of American community. * The Law and Politics Book Review * With comprehensive historical sweep and theoretical insight, Americans in Waiting masterfully charts the way to more inclusive policies that are true to the United States' identity as a nation of immigrants and that promote a robust and cohesive notion of citizenship. * T. Alexander Aleinikoff, author of Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, The State, and American Citizenship * Motomura elegantly weaves together the history and modern developments of immigration law and American conceptions of immigrants, making complex topics much more understandable. This is a timely book, and one that encourages us to think more deeply about the consequences of American citizenship policies. * Lucy Salyer, author of Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law * A unique, original and insightful analysis of policies regarding immigrant rights, Americans in Waiting merits the attention of all serious students of immigrant incorporation. * Rodolfo O. de la Garza, author of Making Americans, Remaking America: Immigration and Immigrant Policy * Hiroshi Motomura's portrait of immigration history in the United States is as poignant as it is precise. Americans in Waiting emphasizes the need to treat lawful immigrants more inclusively, and welcome them as future citizens who will help revitalize the American Dream for future generations, as they have done throughout history. * U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy * An impressive overview of American immigration and citizenship law over the past 200 years. * Najia Aarim-Heriot, American Historical Review *show more

About Hiroshi Motomura

Hiroshi Motomura is Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A nationally recognized expert on immigration and citizenship law, he co-authored the widely used law school casebook, Immigration and Citizenship: Process and more

Table of contents

Introduction: Immigrants in America ; 1. Contract and Classical Immigration Law ; 2. Promises, Promises ; 3. All Persons Within the Territorial Jurisdiction ; 4. Alienage and the Ties That Bind ; 5. The Most Tender Connections ; 6. The Lost Story of Americans in Waiting ; 7. Transition at a Crossroads ; 8. The Meaning of Transition ; 9. Race, Belonging, and Transition ; 10. Taking Transition Seriously ; Conclusion: The Idea of Americans in Waiting ; Notes ; Indexshow more

Rating details

56 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 20% (11)
4 39% (22)
3 29% (16)
2 11% (6)
1 2% (1)
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