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Susanne Jonas

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Rethinking Immigration Policy and Citizenship in the Americas: A Regional Framework

Susanne Jonas addresses the multiple cross-border realities affecting U. S. immigration policies as well as their political consequences throughout the Americas. Using a multidisciplinary approach, she lays out the need for a regional framework as the context for a discussion of existing versus alternative policies. Existing U. S.”national security”-based immigration policies are of questionable effectiveness; in addition, they have antidemocratic and destabilizing effects in various sites throughout the hemisphere, including the U. S. An alternative set of policies–more in tune with current economic realities and stated U. S. political goals of promoting democracy and stability–would be based on a cross-border reconceptualization of citizenship and would recognize the accountability of states to civil society across borders and at borders. She also questions the immigration-related effects of U. S.-promoted neoliberal economic policies in the hemisphere. Finally, an alternative immigration policy would take a positive view of and build upon the transnational networks and practices initiated by immigrants.

immigration policy; citizenship; national security; regionalism; U.S.-Latin America relations; U.S. foreign policy; Latinas-Latinos; democracy

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, No. 3 (1996): 68-85

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