Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Free Trade / Edition 1

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Overview

"Beyond Smoke and Mirrors shows how U.S. immigration policies enacted between 1986 and 1996 - largely for symbolic domestic political purposes - harm the interests of Mexico, the United States, and the people who migrate between them. The costs have been high. The book documents how the massive expansion of border enforcement has wasted billions of dollars and hundreds of lives, yet has not deterred increasing numbers of undocumented immigrants from heading north. The authors also uncover how the new policies unleashed a host of unintended consequences: a shift away from seasonal, circular migration toward permanent settlement; the creation of a black market for Mexican labor; the transformation of Mexican immigration from a regional phenomenon into a broad social movement touching every region of the country, and even the lowering of wages for legal U.S. residents. What had been a relatively open and benign labor process before 1986 was transformed into an exploitative underground system of labor coercion, one that lowered wages and working conditions of undocumented migrants, legal immigrants, and American citizens alike." Beyond Smoke and Mirrors offers specific proposals for repairing the damage. Rather than denying the reality of labor migration, the authors recommend regularizing it and working to manage it so as to promote economic development in Mexico, minimize costs and disruptions for the United States, and maximize benefits for all concerned. This book provides an essential "user's manual" for readers seeking a historical, theoretical, and substantive understanding of how U.S. Policy on Mexican immigration evolved to its current dysfunctional state, as well as how it might be fixed.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An outgrowth of the Mexican Migration Project rejects the analogies of war and flood for Mexico-US immigration, and uses instead a well-ordered machine that operates predictably according to a patterned logic that has been intensively studied and well described by social scientists. US immigration policies after 1986 are seen as the wrench in the works, and a repair manual is included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871545893
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 199
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Ghost in the Machine: Interventions in the Mexico-U.S. Immigration System 1
Ch. 2 Principles of Operation: Theories of International Migration 7
Ch. 3 System Assembly: A History of Mexico-U.S. Migration 24
Ch. 4 System Specifications: Empirical Parameters and Constants in the U.S.-Mexican Immigration System, 1965 to 1985 52
Ch. 5 A Wrench in the Works: U.S. Immigration Policies After 1986 73
Ch. 6 Breakdown: Failure in the Post-1986 U.S. Immigration System 105
Ch. 7 Repair Manual: U.S. Immigration Policies for a New Century 142
Appendices 165
References 183
Index 193
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