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Week 6: Rights and Basics of American Citizenship

Where is the Constitutional Authority to regulate immigration located? How do the Courts, Congress, and Government agencies make and administer immigration policy? What were the arguments for and against alien rights and how were these rights articulated?

T, 3/14: Rights During Exclusion
  • Neuman, Gerald L. 2005. “Wong Wing v. United States: The Bill of Rights Protects Illegal Aliens.” Chapter 2 in Immigration Stories. Edited by David A. Martin. New York: Foundation Press. ( (20pgs)
Th, 3/16: Assimilation
  • Heisler, Barbara Schmitter. (2000) “The Sociology of Immigration: From Assimilation to Segmented Integration, from the American Experience to the Global Arena” in Caroline B. Brettel and James F. Hollified, eds., Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines, 2nd edition.

Re: S/R papers

  • return S/R papers
  • I've assigned all of you "student numbers"; from now on, please write in the right-hand corner of your S/R papers your assigned student number makes it much easier and faster for me to sort your papers to record grades).
  • please add that number to today's S/R paper now :)
  • This is how the Avg S/R paper is tabulated in Bb:
    • If you turn in a paper, it's graded and a grade is recorded
    • If you do NOT turn in a paper, the grade is recorded as a 0. 
    • But the Avg S/R column is set up to drop the lowest 4 grades so if it sees a 0 recorded, it'll be considered one of the lowest grades and drops it. (of course if you miss more than 4 papers, the additional 0s are averaged into the grade)

Re: Grades in Bb

  • The Semester Project Grade is a weighted grade-- i.e. the Ethics Quiz was worth 4% of the final Semester Project grade, the survey and questionnaire workshop was worth 1% of the final Semester Project grade, etc. 
    • The grade will look low for some of you because, 1) many of you did not do well on the Ethics Quiz or 2) some of you missed the workshop. But together, they only make up about 5% of the final grade for the Semester Project. As we add assignments for the Semester Project, your grade for this column should improve. 
  • Also remember that the Semester Project itself is only worth 40% of your grade. The other 60% of your grade is made up of things like the S/R papers (40%), Attendance and Participation (15%), and Misc Assignments (5%). 

Re: Updates on Semester Project

  • The Informed Consent Form is ready (please download, complete, and make 3 copies (two for each interviewee))
  • The final Interview Questionnaire is also ready (please download and print 2 copies)
    • notice that you will also be completing a survey of the basics
  • In addition, I've updated the Instructions Packet for the Semester Project
  • From this point, you should be scheduling and conducting your interviews.
    • The next assignment that is due (Thu, March 23) is a single sheet of paper telling who you intend to interview and the date for which the interview is scheduled.
    • Summaries of your interviews are due April 27 so you should complete your interviews well BEFORE April 27!

Re: "Midterm"

  • the Midterm is more like a mid-semester review
  • it's in-class (next week)-- I'll pass out a handout and you work on answering some questions
  • students usually find this very helpful

Re: Lesson & Readings Notes

It's clear that you all had a MUCH easier time with the historical readings-- when the readings were much more descriptive than theoretical. In terms of the more complex readings, I noticed that some of you got lost in the details and failed to understand the main ideas of the readings-- Sassen come to mind. 

Details are important but don't "fail to see the forest for the trees." Many of the readings are set up in a particular way-- author begins be saying, "This is an issue..." then goes on to say, "Here's some background..." and finally says, "This is what my idea is and why it's different and worthwhile..." Many of you get stuck on the background information-- I suspect it's because for many of you the background on the topic is the new information. 

But after each reading, try to answer the question, what was the author's main point? 
  • For example, Sassen discusses the differences between nationality (external) and citizenship (internal), but her main point is to suggest that with the rise of modern nation-states and diverse populations, citizenship as status grew in importance and that the two terms became more and more disconnected from each other. Ultimately, she raises the question whether the forces of globalization, MNCs, and rise of supranational actors have lead to a break between the protections offered by citizenship and nation-state.  

Re: Last week's readings

I was glad to see many of you read different readings (theoretically, all of you should have read all of the readings). But let's hear from some of you about the experiences of the different groups:
  • Jews
  • Italians
  • Germans
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Mexicans
  • African Americans

Re: This week's readings

  • we began this course by looking closely at the concept and "state" of citizenship-- how different theorists have considered citizenship
    • Aristotle
    • Marshall
    • Tilly
    • Anderson
    • Shklar
    • Sassen 
  • then, last week, I had you read a ton of history and background for immigration history in the US
    • how have we conceived of citizenship?
    • how did people of the past become citizens?
    • how have we received immigrants?
  • last week's readings culminated in the close of our borders with Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924
  • Of course, restrictions had been passed before this
    • Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882
    • Geary Act in 1892 (this is also the year that Ellis Island opens)
  • This week's readings what rights do immigrants have in times of such exclusion?
    • Wong Wing case decided in 1896 (made little news-- what other case was decided in that same year (same month!)? 


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