From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the U.S. in a Global Era

From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the U.S. in a Global Era

From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the U.S. in a Global Era

From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the U.S. in a Global Era

Synopsis

"The complex, ambiguous connections among the immigration past and present are given masterful treatment in From Arrival to Incorporation, which presents a series of case studies that are essential reading for anyone who seeks guidance in the interpretation of present-day immigration and its consequences for American society. This volume gives multi-dimensional depth to the contemporary landscape of diversity.' - Richard Alba, co-author of Remaking the American Mainstream The United States is once again in the midst of a peak period of immigration. By 2005, more than 35 million legal and illegal migrants were present in the United States. At different rates and with differing degrees of difficulty, a great many will be incorporated into American society and culture. Leading immigration experts in history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science here offer multiethnic and multidisciplinary perspectives on the challenges confronting immigrants adapting to a new society. How will these recent arrivals become Americans? Does the journey to the U.S. demand abandoning the past? How is the United States changing even as it requires change from those who come here? Broad thematic essays are coupled with case studies and concluding essays analyzing contemporary issues facing Muslim newcomers in the wake of 9/11. Together, they offer a vibrant portrait of America's new populations today. Contributors: Anny Bakalian, Elliott Barkan, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Caroline Brettell, Barry R. Chiswick, Hasia Diner, Roland L. Guyotte, Gary Gerstle, David W. Haines, Alan M. Kraut, Xiyuan Li, Timothy J. Meagher, Paul Miller, Barbara M. Posadas, Paul Spickard, Roger Waldinger, Karen A. Woodrow-Lafield, and Min Zhou.

Excerpt

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“Si, se puede!” (Yes, we can!), chanted the hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their native-born supporters who marched through American cities and in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2006. Appropriating the chant once popularized by protesting farmworkers, the marchers—many of them Latino but Asians and Europeans as well—campaigned for a reformed immigration policy that would allow undocumented newcomers to remain in the United States and to one day become citizens. A sea of American flags left the clear impression that those who had come, however they had gotten to the United States, wanted to stay. Despite a deadlocked Congress, including a House of Representatives demanding legislation that would brand undocumented aliens as felons who should be arrested and prosecuted, the protesters still believed that tomorrow in the United States must be better than today in Mexico, the Philippines, El Salvador, Honduras, Vietnam, or Ireland.

Such optimism hardly characterized the attitude of all migrants around the Atlantic community. In France, protests against a law facilitating the firing of laborers by their employers especially drew the ire of the many thousands of young Muslim workers who had migrated for jobs, found few, and now despaired of ever enjoying the security and opportunity that had lured them from their homes in North Africa or the Middle East. Less than a year earlier, in England, despair was translated into self-destruction. On July 5, 2005, four young men from Leeds, England, three of them born to middle-class Pakistan parents in Britain and the fourth of them from Jamaica, went to London and blew themselves up on three trains and a double-decker bus. Asked his reaction, a twenty-two-year-old Muslim in Leeds commented, “I don't approve of what [they] did, but I understand it. You get driven to something like this; it doesn't just happen.” A few days . . .

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