Citizens and Neighbors: New Research on the Legal Aspects of Global Migration

AHA Session 157
Saturday, January 9, 2016: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Salon C (Hilton Atlanta, Second Floor)
Katherine A. Benton-Cohen, Georgetown University
Katherine A. Benton-Cohen, Georgetown University
Sam Erman, University of Southern California
Torrie Hester, Saint Louis University
Katherine Unterman, Texas A&M University
Larisa Veloz, Georgetown University

Session Abstract

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, U.S. immigration policy makers had to balance the protection of their national borders with diplomatic relationships between countries across the globe.  A history of colonialism as well as international diplomacy shaped immigration policy and not only determined how citizenship was defined, but also the conditions under which migrants could enter and exit the country. Building from the administrative legacy of colonialism, the federal state was to become the arbiter and regulator of migration. As borders were created in a colonial context and redrawn with the formalization of nation-states, laborers, fugitives, and deportees continually crossed borders, challenged basic notions of citizenship, and required evolving legislation.  U.S. immigration policy was federal in conception, local in execution and yet subject to diplomatic conditions and consequences. 

This roundtable will present new research on the legal aspects of global migration and U.S. immigration and border policies.  Participants will discuss extradition treaties, repatriation agreements, labor activism, and the immigration policies of neighboring nations to examine how each of these aspects played a role in shaping the legal definitions of citizens and neighbors.

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