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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She concludes part IV by showing how the immigration policies during the time period after contributed to increased illegal immigration and heightened a seemingly unsolvable problem going forward. The chapter ends by talking about how Mexicans and other Americans south of the United States were left unaffected by this law which, as their agricultural labor was still necessary, deemed them “white”.

July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Please consider summarizing the material while citing sources as needed. The court cases are also used to show how the United States judicial system and the government approached the legality of immigration and assimilation over time.

Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

Insightful historical perspective on the issues of migration, politics, and second-class citizenship status. Ngai explains the development of the modern Mexican-America class, a group that “did not belong,” plagued by racial mistreatment, stereotypes, and threat detainment, interrogation, and deportation. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Views Read Edit View history. It deals with the internment of Americans with Japanese origins in U. If illegality is a label that may change depending on the various laws on immigration, Ngai points out four categories systematically built to link race with illegality in the United States: This page was last edited on 13 Novemberat US border controls are perforated in both the physical and figurative sense.


This section may be too long and excessively detailed. No eBook available Amazon. Remember me on this computer. She discusses how immigration policy was affected during the years of by World War Subjwcts. Many Filipinos faced Anti-Filipino attacks, and institutionalized disregard for their safety and well-being. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Philippines was denied statehood, through the legality of the Insular Cases, and viewed as uncooperative, and incapable of self-rule by American imperialists.

She also shows how ideas of eugenics and morality were used to justify the deportation of illegal aliens to their homeland. The sources used cover a wide range of mediums. As a result of this increase in the Filipino population was backlash, official efforts encouraged Filipinos jmpossible stay or return to the Philippines. Ngai flips the script on the notion that HC was a liberal act of American maae on immigration. A caricature is a misrepresenting of a person and however condescending that depiction is, the caricature at least has human characteristics.

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

This yielded the “illegal alien,” a new legal and political subject whose inclusion in the nation was a social reality but a legal impossibility–a subject without rights and excluded from citizenship.

She uses Japanese internment camps as evidence of their lack of legal and social inclusion in the United States. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

Wayne Collins, civil rights attorney, took their subjechs and managed in a thirteen-year-old battle to restore the citizenship of Japanese Americans after the War, on the grounds that the Japanese reacted under condition of coercion — perhaps thereby renewing the stereotype of the Japanese weakness and pragmatism, even if this is not the subject of debate for Ngai. Ngai utilizes a dense amount of primary source material in Impossible Subjects.

Given that Ngai is a U.

Immigration has long been mired in exclusion, brutality and the self- fulfilling notions of supremacy. However, Filipinos faced retaliation by whites who claimed Filipinos were saturating the agricultural section with cheap labor and taking their jobs. Indeed, these years paved usbjects way for an increased immigration from the Third World and continued American commitment to numerical restrictions by the imposition of quotas on Western hemisphere countries.

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Ngai implies that the equalizing and egalitarian narrative of US immigration history, and by extension the idea of American exceptionalism, is a falsely ascribed—and hardly deserved—narrative. However, Filipino immigration differed from other migration experiences, owing to the Philippines’ status of US territory as a result of US victory in the Spanish American war. The essay first analyses the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act.


The renunciation by Japanese of their American citizenship is a real crisis of citizenship and probably one of the darkest episodes in the history of civil rights in the United States since the Jim Crow laws. Filipinos were thus granted limited rights based on their colonial status.

Ngai explains the purpose of the book saying, “immigrants are integral to the historical processes that define and redefine the nation. Certainly not the most pressing of the issue Ngai addresses, is the paradoxical nature of US border controls. Articles lacking in-text citations from July All articles lacking in-text citations Articles that may contain original research from July All articles that may contain original research Articles lacking reliable references from June All articles lacking reliable references Articles needing additional references from June All articles needing additional references Articles with multiple maintenance issues Pages to import images to Wikidata.

The impressive compilation of institutional archives has to be noted, some of which previously unstudied, such as the U.