Jamie Longazel: Undocumented Fears - Print


How the local politics of immigration pit working people against one another



 

Undocumented Fears

Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Jamie Longazel

paper: $27.95, Feb 16
EAN: 978-1-4399-1268-3
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cloth: $89.50, Feb 16
EAN: 978-1-4399-1267-6
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e-book: $27.95, Feb 16
EAN: 978-1-4399-1269-0
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226 pp
6 x 9
1 halftones

 


North Central Sociological Association's scholarly achievement awards, 2017

"Using a magnifying lens to study immigrant bashing in his hometown, Jamie Longazel brings into sharp focus the anti-Latino racism at the heart of national politics today. Even as we as a society struggle to build solidarity across racial divisions, powerful forces seek advantage in tearing us farther apart. The concentrated focus of Undocumented Fears helps us understand not only why this occurs but also how we might help replace fear with friendship, social division with a sense of shared humanity."
Ian F. Haney López, John H. Boalt Professor of Law, University of California-Berkeley, and author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

The Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA), passed in the small Rustbelt city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 2006, was a local ordinance that laid out penalties for renting to or hiring undocumented immigrants and declared English the city's official language. The notorious IIRA gained national prominence and kicked off a parade of local and state-level legislative initiatives designed to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

In his cogent and timely book, Undocumented Fears, Jamie Longazel uses the debate around Hazleton's controversial ordinance as a case study that reveals the mechanics of contemporary divide and conquer politics. He shows how neoliberal ideology, misconceptions about Latina/o immigrants, and nostalgic imagery of "Small Town, America" led to a racialized account of an undocumented immigrant "invasion," masking the real story of a city beset by large-scale loss of manufacturing jobs.

Offering an up-close look at how the local debate unfolded in the city that set off this broader trend, Undocumented Fears makes an important connection between immigration politics and the perpetuation of racial and economic inequality.

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Excerpt

Excerpt available at www.temple.edu/tempress


Reviews

"Undocumented Fears offers an incredibly rich and insightful analysis of how the political dynamics in a struggling former coal mining town resulted in its becoming ground zero in the raging national debate over immigration. Longazel provides a bird's-eye view of the politics—racial and otherwise—that led Hazleton, Pennsylvania, to enact laws designed to punish undocumented immigrants, with Latino migrants in the crosshairs. The clash of Latino immigrants with the 'small town America' ideal is a gripping story that deserves the scholarly attention offered by Longazel. As some might say after reading Undocumented Fears, 'Only in America.'"
Kevin Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, University of California-Davis School of Law, and author of The "Huddled Masses" Myth: Immigration and Civil Rights

"Undocumented Fears critically examines the history of immigration, industrialism, a local Latina/o community, and racial tensions surrounding the 2006 Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.... Tracking Hazleton's path from coal town to a postindustrial city, Jamie Longazel highlights why tax-free business zones created to increase employment opportunities ultimately attracted temporary, low-paying, and dangerous jobs that current residents did not desire. This economic history contextualizes following demographic changes as new immigrants moved to Hazelton and other residents moved away.... Examining community division alongside the ordinance, Longazel argues that history should not only inform the present but also push individuals to actively shape the future."
Pennsylvania Legacies


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Contents

Author's Comment on the Notes Section
Preface
Acknowledgments

Introduction: Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer
1. The Political Economy of Local Backlash
2. "The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back"
3. Lozano v. Hazleton and the Defense of White Innocence
4. "All We Can Do Is Show Them We Are a Respectable Bunch"
Conclusion: Recovering Authenticity

Appendix A: Data and Methods
Appendix B: Full Text of the Illegal Immigration Relief Act
Notes
Bibliography
Index


 

About the Author(s)

Jamie Longazel is an Associate Professor of Law and Society at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and co-author (with Benjamin Fleury-Steiner) of The Pains of Mass Imprisonment.

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Subject Categories

Sociology
Political Science and Public Policy
Immigration Studies
Law and Criminology

 

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