In the debate over U. S. immigration, all sides now support
policy and practice that expand the parameters of enforcement.
Philip Kretsedemas examines this development from several different
perspectives, exploring recent trends in U.S. immigration policy,
the rise in extralegal state power over the course of the twentieth
century, and discourses on race, nation, and cultural difference
that have influenced politics and academia. He also analyzes the
recent expansion of local immigration law and explains how forms of
extralegal discretionary authority have become more prevalent in
federal immigration policy, making the dispersion of local
immigration laws possible.
While connecting such extralegal state powers to a free flow
position on immigration, Kretsedemas also observes how these same
discretionary powers have been used historically to control racial
minority populations, particularly African Americans under Jim
Crow. This kind of discretionary authority often appeals to "states
rights" arguments, recently revived by immigration control
advocates. Using these and other examples, Kretsedemas explains how
both sides of the immigration debate have converged on the issue of
enforcement and how, despite differing interests, each faction has
shaped the commonsense assumptions defining the debate.
Subjects: Law, Political Science
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