Living 'Illegal': The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration

Marie Friedmann Marquardt, Timothy J. Steigenga, Philip J. Williams, and Manuel A. V%C3%A1squez. New Press, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59558-651-3
In this probing investigation, a team of scholars in political science, religion, and Latin American studies offers a considered account of the complex global dynamics that shape immigration in America. The authors track the oscillations in U.S. immigration policy, from the open borders of the country's early history through the rising tide of nativism in the early 20th century and the growing restrictiveness of immigration policy over the past 20 years. Focusing on emerging immigrant destinations like Atlanta and South Florida, the book charts long-standing patterns of immigration between Mexico and the U.S., as well as newer inflows from Guatemala and Brazil. It shows firsthand the plight of undocumented day laborers who make easy targets for exploitative bosses, the parents who are separated from their children, the women assaulted or raped as they cross through Mexico—as well as the quieter stories of immigrants joining churches, paying taxes, and contributing to their communities, emphasizing the church's role in this negotiation between two worlds. In its compassionate and well-reasoned exploration of why migrants come to the U.S. and how they integrate into American society, this book appeals to what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature" and makes a well-reasoned case for a more humane immigration policy. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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