Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States

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Oxford University Press, Sep 17, 2007 - Law - 256 pages
Although America is unquestionably a nation of immigrants, its immigration policies have inspired more questions than consensus on who should be admitted and what the path to citizenship should be. In Americans in Waiting, Hiroshi Motomura looks to a forgotten part of our past to show how, for over 150 years, immigration was assumed to be a transition to citizenship, with immigrants essentially being treated as future citizens--Americans in waiting. Challenging current conceptions, the author deftly uncovers how this view, once so central to law and policy, has all but vanished. Motomura explains how America could create a more unified society by recovering this lost history and by giving immigrants more, but at the same time asking more of them. A timely, panoramic chronicle of immigration and citizenship in the United States, Americans in Waiting offers new ideas and a fresh perspective on current debates.

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User Review  - SiSarah - LibraryThing

Ha! I can be the first to review this. This is on the State Department's list of recommended reading for those looking for a career in the Foreign Service, and I can see why. This book opened my eyes ... Read full review


Immigrants in America
Contract and Classical Immigration
Promises Promises
All Persons Within the Territorial Jurisdiction
Alienage and the Ties That Bind
The Most Tender Connections
The Lost Story of Americans in Waiting
Transition at a Crossroads
The Meaning of Transition
Race Belonging and Transition
Taking Transition Seriously
The Idea of Americans in Waiting

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About the author (2007)

Hiroshi Motomura is Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law at UCLA and author of Americans in Waiting.

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