Citizenship Under Fire: The Forging of the New Americans
10 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2012 Last revised: 24 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2011
This essay reviews and critiques two new books on the debate over immigration and citizenship, Anna O. Law, The Immigration Battle in American Courts, and Ediberto Roman, Citizenship and Its Exclusions: A Classical, Constitutional, and Critical Race Critique. Law’s book takes a procedural approach to unraveling the complex immigration cases emanating from the U.S. courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. This essay challenges some of Law’s conclusions and suggests methodological alterations that may strengthen her key arguments. Roman’s book is distinct from Law’s in that it takes on a much broader historical and procedurialist view of the idea of citizenship. He explores the roots of the present day American citizenship construct through a personal and philosophical approach to exploring the citizenship construct as it exists in the U.S. today, incorporating significant historical influences. This essay commends Roman’s contribution to the study of immigration law and the concept of citizenship but also recognizes the eternal struggles in making meaningful and lasting progress in this area of law.
Keywords: immigration, citizenship
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