Illegal, Alien, or Immigrant: The Politics of Immigration Reform

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In Illegal, Alien, or Immigrant, Lina Newton carefully dissects the political debates over contemporary immigration reform. Beginning with a close look at the disputes of the 1980s and 1990s, she reveals how a shift in legislators' portrayals of illegal immigrants from positive to overwhelmingly negative facilitated the introduction and passage of controversial reforms. Newton's analysis reveals how rival descriptions of immigrant groups and the flattering or disparaging myths that surround them define, shape, and can ultimately determine fights over immigration policy. Her path-breaking findings shed new light on the current political battles, their likely outcomes, and where to go from here.

About the Author:
Lina Newton is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, City University of New York

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Presents complex ideas in an admirably accessible fashion."

Newton neatly overlays policy theories with arguably the most contentious domestic policy issue of our times, namely, how governments equitably and humanely resolve the issues of illegal immigration. As such, she importantly adds to a growing literature that sets out the political, cultural, and economic complexities of these debates. -Peter deLeon,author of Democracy and the Policy Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814758427
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/10/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lina Newton is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, City University of New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Power of a Good Story 1

1 Considering Unlikely Outcomes: The Peculiar Politics of Immigration 5

2 Cases, Contexts, and the Puzzle of Policy Change 42

3 Contesting Illegalities: The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act 67

4 Immigrants versus Taxpayers: The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act 104

5 Problem Mexicans: Race, Nationalism, and Their Limits in Contemporary Immigration Policy 137

Conclusion: Power and Image in Immigration Policymaking 163

Epilogue 171

Notes 183

References 209

Index 221

About the Author 227

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