A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America

Rating: 11 reviews
Category: Book
Sub-Category: Paperback

According to national mythology, United States has long opened its doors to people from across globe, providing a port in a storm, opportunity for any who seek it. Yet history of immigration to United States is far different. Even before xenophobic reaction against European, Asian immigrants in late nineteenth century, social, economic interest groups worked to manipulate immigration policy to serve their needs. In A Nation by Design, Aristide Zolberg explores American immigration policy from colonial period to present, discussing how it has been used as a tool of nation building.

A Nation by Design argues that engineering of immigration policy has been prevalent since early American history. However, it has gone largely unnoticed since it took place primarily on local, state levels, owing to constitutional limits on federal power during slavery era. Zolberg profiles vacillating currents of opinion on immigration throughout American history, examining separately roles played by business interests, labor unions, ethnic lobbies, nativist ideologues in shaping policy. He then examines how three different types of migration--legal migration, illegal migration to fill low-wage jobs, asylum-seeking--are shaping contemporary arguments over immigration to United States.

A Nation by Design is a thorough, authoritative account of American immigration history, political, social factors that brought it about. With rich detail, impeccable scholarship, Zolberg's book shows how America has struggled to shape immigration process to construct kind of population it desires.

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