Immigration Justice Resources


  • Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States by Hiroshi Motomura — by Gary Chartier — 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
  • Border Rhetorics: Citizenship and Identity on the US-Mexico Frontier by D. Robert DeChaine — A “border” is a powerful and versatile concept, variously invoked as the delineation of geographical territories, as a judicial marker of citizenship, and as an ideological trope for defining inclusion and exclusion. It has implications for both the empowerment and subjugation of any given populace. Both real and imagined, the border separates a zone of physical and symbolic exchange whose geographical, political, economic, and cultural interactions bear profoundly on popular understandings and experiences of citizenship and identity
  • Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America by Mae M. Ngai — This book traces the origins of the “illegal alien” in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy―a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century
  • Not Fit for Our Society: Immigration and Nativism in America by Peter Schrag — In a book of deep and telling ironies, Peter Schrag provides essential background for understanding the fractious debate over immigration. Covering the earliest days of the Republic to current events, Schrag sets the modern immigration controversy within the context of three centuries of debate over the same questions about who exactly is fit for citizenship
  • The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands by Margaret Regan — For the last decade, Margaret Regan has reported on the escalating chaos along the Arizona-Mexico border, ground zero for immigration since 2000. Undocumented migrants cross into Arizona in overwhelming numbers, a state whose anti-immigrant laws are the most stringent in the nation. And Arizona has the highest number of migrant deaths
  • Immigration Law and Society by John S.W. Park — The Immigration Act of 1965 was one of the most consequential laws ever passed in the United States and immigration policy continues to be one of the most contentious areas of American politics. As a “nation of immigrants,” the United States has a long and complex history of immigration programs and controls which are deeply connected to the shape of American society today
  • The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham — As stories continue to pour in about the heartbreaking situation at the Mexican-American border, where young children — as young as infants — are ripped out of their parents’ arms and sent to detention centers, it behooves all Americans to learn more
  • This America: The Case for the Nation by Jill Lepore — At a time of much despair over the future of liberal democracy, Jill Lepore makes a stirring case for the nation in This America, a follow-up to her much-celebrated history of the United States, These Truths. With dangerous forms of nationalism on the rise, Lepore, a Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, repudiates nationalism here by explaining its long history―and the history of the idea of the nation itself―while calling for a “new Americanism”: a generous patriotism that requires an honest reckoning with America’s past
  • This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto by Suketu Mehta — There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? In This Land Is Our Land, the renowned author Suketu Mehta attacks the issue head-on. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and on years of reporting around the world, Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. As he explains, the West is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants
  • Deported to Death: How Drug Violence Is Changing Migration on the US–Mexico Border by Jeremy Slack — What happens to migrants after they are deported from the United States and dropped off at the Mexican border, often hundreds if not thousands of miles from their hometowns? In this eye-opening work, Jeremy Slack foregrounds the voices and experiences of Mexican deportees, who frequently become targets of extreme forms of violence, including migrant massacres, upon their return to Mexico

Ted Talks:

Pod Casts:

  • 99%invisible (Church -Sanctuary, Part I)99% Invisible takes a look at the concept of “sanctuary” and how it began in the 1980’s because of a Presbyterian church that was protecting refugees from El Salvador. The episodes explore the efforts of that church and of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to shut down their work to protect refugees
  • 99%invisible (State -Sanctuary, Part II) — If you’ve ever struggled to explain or understand the concept of a “sanctuary city” or you’re just interested in the history of the movement, this worth a listen
  • Science vs (Immigration) — It’s been a huge focus for President Trump… and people say immigrants are stealing jobs and driving up the crime rate. But what does the research say? There have been a bunch of new studies since we published our episode on immigration, so we’ve updated this to reflect what’s new
  • USA Today – The Wall: Reporting on the Border — For almost 2,000 miles, one line defines a country and divides the world. What is life like at the U.S.-Mexico border now, and how would a wall change that? In this podcast, journalists take you with them to the border to find out
  • Bipartisan Policy Center: What You Need to Know on ImmigrationWhat You Need to Know on Immigration is a five-part series that will cover DREAMers and DACA, border and interior enforcement, temporary worker visas, sanctuary cities, and the status of comprehensive immigration reform. Listen to understand the background, ins and outs, and current status of these key issues in the immigration debate