Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hester on the Origins of Deportation

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Deportation: The Origins of U.S. Policy, by Torrie Hester (Saint Louis University). A description from the Press:
Before 1882, the U.S. federal government had never formally deported anyone, but that year an act of Congress made Chinese workers the first group of immigrants eligible for deportation. Over the next forty years, lawmakers and judges expanded deportable categories to include prostitutes, anarchists, the sick, and various kinds of criminals. The history of that lengthening list shaped the policy options U.S. citizens continue to live with into the present.
Deportation covers the uncertain beginnings of American deportation policy and recounts the halting and uncoordinated steps that were taken as it emerged from piecemeal actions in Congress and courtrooms across the country to become an established national policy by the 1920s. Usually viewed from within the nation, deportation policy also plays a part in geopolitics; deportees, after all, have to be sent somewhere. Studying deportations out of the United States as well as the deportation of U.S. citizens back to the United States from abroad, Torrie Hester illustrates that U.S. policy makers were part of a global trend that saw officials from nations around the world either revise older immigrant removal policies or create new ones.
A history of immigration policy in the United States and the world, Deportation chronicles the unsystematic emergence of what has become an internationally recognized legal doctrine, the far-reaching impact of which has forever altered what it means to be an immigrant and a citizen.
A few blurbs:
"Through impressive research and detailed analysis, Torrie Hester shows how the early history of deportation law and policy contributed to the world in which we now live. The author successfully shows how the incremental creation of acceptable grounds for deportation reflected an agenda of racialized nation building—an issue that is often raised in critique of the mass deportations of our own times."—Donna Gabaccia

"Deportation: The Origins of U.S. Policy is a tour-de-force of U.S. policy history, detailing how deportation was born as a lawful practice in the late nineteenth century and tracking its steady expansion into the twentieth century. Moreover, it follows the story beyond U.S. borders to examine the world in which U.S. immigration was made. It is a timely and urgent work."—Kelly Lytle Hernandez
More information is available here.