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Since 2004, the United States has seen a flurry of state and local laws dealing with unauthorized immigrants. Though initially restrictionist, these laws have recently undergone a dramatic shift toward promoting integration. How are we to make sense of this new immigration federalism? What are its causes? And what are its consequences for the federal-state balance of power? In The New Immigration Federalism, Professors Pratheepan Gulasekaram and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan provide answers to these questions using a mix of quantitative, historical, and doctrinal legal analysis. In so doing they refute the popular “demographic necessity” argument put forward by anti-immigrant activists and politicians. Instead, they posit that immigration federalism is rooted in a political process that connects both federal and subfederal actors: the Polarized Change Model. Their model captures not only the spread of restrictionist legislation but also its abrupt turnaround in 2012, projecting valuable insights for the future.Read more
- A historical overview of US immigration law provides essential context for current policy patterns
- An empirical 'Polarized Change Model' provides a new model for understanding the interaction of state and national policies
- Discredits the popular conservative argument that demographic factors drive anti-immigration laws
Reviews & endorsements
"This book stands for many things, including a very deep and broad understanding of federalism at work in immigration policies, and the role of ethnic antipathy and ugly nativism in the inception of so many present day anti-immigrant policies and narratives. But it also stands for the value in having talented collaborators with different disciplines and literatures - political science and the law - for this is a prime example of how the sum can be greater than even the individual scholarly efforts. Gulasekaram and Ramakrishnan's model of polarized change has considerable explanatory power, and the work is a fascinating narrative."
Michael A. Olivas, author of No Undocumented Child Left Behind: Plyler v. Doe and the Education of Undocumented SchoolchildrenSee more reviews
"Gulasekaram and Ramakrishnan have written an indispensable book for understanding the crucial role states and locales now play in shaping American immigration policy. Reaching beyond demographic explanations, they provide a powerful analysis of the political foundations and legal consequences of contemporary immigration federalism."
Daniel J. Tichenor, Philip H. Knight Chair of Social Science, University of Oregon
"Richly interdisciplinary and multidimensional, The New Immigration Federalism offers an ambitious reframing of a core issue in today's immigration debates, challenging conventional wisdoms and putting current controversies in historical context. An insightful and nuanced analysis, this book is an essential read."
Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Immigration Outside the Law
"Gulasekaram and Ramakrishnan have written a timely book that seamlessly synthesizes their research in the fields of political science and law to offer a convincing account of the reasons that sub-federal actors have come to matter so much in shaping US immigration law on the ground. The book makes a significant contribution to the academic discourse on immigration federalism, but it also offers useful analysis for any reader seeking a better understanding of the politics that drive immigration policy."
Jennifer Chacón, University of California, Irvine School of Law
"With immigration reform stalled, it is more important than ever to understand the variation in local responses to undocumented immigrants. In this interdisciplinary gem, the authors challenge the traditional notion that demographic shocks - that is, a wave of new immigrants - explains whether localities are restrictionist. Weaving together legal history, political theory, and statistical analysis, they argue that political opportunism has a larger influence in why local and state authorities seek power over immigrant lives. A fascinating and highly relevant read."
Manuel Pastor, Director, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California
'The New Immigration Federalism is a great example of a thoughtful mixed methods project that combines historical, legal, and policy analysis to provide important insights into the drivers and direction of immigration policymaking in the United States.' Alexandra Filindra, Publius: The Journal of Federalism
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- Date Published: September 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107530867
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.42kg
- contains: 4 b/w illus. 11 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. Setting the stage for the new immigration federalism
3. Rise of restrictive legislation and demographic arguments of 'vital necessity'
4. A political theory of immigration federalism: the polarized change model and restrictive issue entrepreneurs
5. A shifting tide in 2012: pro-integration activists gain the upper hand
6. Implications for legal theory on federalism and immigration law
7. Immigration federalism is here to stay
Appendix A: statistical analysis of restrictive local ordinances
Appendix B: statistical analysis of restrictive state laws
Appendix C: statistical analysis of state immigrant integration laws.
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