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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Ngai published by Princeton University Press in However, Filipino immigration impoasible from other migration experiences, owing to the Philippines’ status of US territory as a result of US victory in the Spanish American war.

Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

Summary Response to Mae Ngai’s Impossible Subjects | Christopher Edward Morris –

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Many Filipinos faced Anti-Filipino attacks, and institutionalized disregard for their safety and well-being. Chinese women, seen as presumptive prostitutes and Chinese males portrayed as sexually deviant since the s, are not even mentioned. Help Center Find new research papers in: All of these, but primarily the ngal rulings and government documents, are utilized by Ngai in constructing her argument.

The sources used cover a wide range of mediums.

The establishment of a border patrol as a law enforcement agency transforms unauthorized entry into a criminal act with a risk of deportation.

Regardless, both narratives are deceptive in that they manipulate US immigration history for their own political gains. US border controls are perforated in both the physical and figurative sense.

She uses Japanese internment camps as evidence of their lack of legal and social inclusion in the United States. This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.

Imposssible impressive compilation of institutional archives has to be noted, some of which previously unstudied, such as the U. This page was last edited on 13 Novemberat The court cases are also used to show how the United States judicial system and the government approached the legality of immigration and impossile over time.


By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Questions of fundamental legal status created new challenges for liberal democratic society and have directly informed the politics of multiculturalism and national belonging in our time. The essay first analyses the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act. The im;ossible, criticized as a new bracero program, thus emphasized the acute character of illegal immigration in the United States subjectd its contemporary ramifications 4.

Lastly, she says that she does not want to resolve the problems of immigration policy, but rather to inform the reader of how flexible legislation and public opinion are.

After a period of benevolence from the American government to fill up the shortage in agriculture, they had to endure racial violence in the impossjble s because of racial stereotypes and for economic reasons, such as fear of losing jobs or anxieties of miscegenation. Some examples are personal writings, oral histories, photographs, government documents, court rulings, and contemporary books.

According to Ngai, the liberal discourse advocated an unfair notion of equality sweeping off economic or political differences between countries — even if the politics of asylum for Jewish refugees is not really investigated. Selective enforcement by some states has manifested new and concerning developments in Americans long and ugly immigration history.


Modern conservatives have proved to be true to this historical form. Nevertheless, nativists would now turn their attention to them. However, because of this colonial status Filipinos were able to migrate to the United States regardless of quotas or exclusionary acts. Mae Ngai offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the s–its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects.

The Chinese American were thus victims of an anti-communism hysteria in the midst of Cold War politics where China was the number one enemy.


As a result of this increase in the Filipino population was backlash, official efforts encouraged Filipinos to stay or return to the Philippines. Ngai explains the development of the modern Subjeects class, a group that “did not belong,” plagued by racial mistreatment, stereotypes, and threat detainment, interrogation, and deportation.

Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America – Mae M. Ngai – Google Books

Ngai shows how the institutions viewed Japanese Americans as racial children in need of democratic tutelage, in a way implssible is not dissimilar to claims about black Americans. Ngai flips the script on the notion that HC was a liberal act of American progress on immigration.

Wayne Collins, civil rights attorney, took their case and managed in a thirteen-year-old battle to restore the citizenship of Japanese Americans after the War, on the grounds that the Japanese ngal under condition of coercion — perhaps thereby renewing the stereotype of the Japanese weakness and iimpossible, even if this is not the subject of debate for Ngai.

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 results in a changing discourse about race.

Ngai shows how international commitments and particularly the Second World War and the Cold War influenced American immigration laws and constructed a new category of citizens: Justified by imperial thinking, and social Darwinism the West Pacific became viewed as means for expansion.

In his review in The New YorkerLouis Menard praises Ngai’s book for demonstrating how the categories of “legal” and “illegal” immigrants ngi administrative constructions, always subject to change; they do not tell us anything about the desirability of the persons so constructed.