Immigrants Out!

The New Nativism and the Anti-Immigrant Impulse in the United States

358 pages

November, 1996

ISBN: 9780814766422



Part of the Critical America series


Juan F. Perea is Professor of Law at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

All books by Juan F. Perea

Nativisman intense opposition to immigrants and other non- native members of societyhas been deeply imbedded in the American character from the earliest days of the nation. Correspondingly, nativism, overtly or covertly, has always permeated our national discourse. Dating from the Alien and Sedition controversy of 1798 to California's recent Proposition 187, nativism has long been a driving force in policy making, a particular irony in a country founded and populated by immigrants.

This anthology of original essays is informed at its core by George Santayana's famous edict that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Examining the current surge in nativism in light of past waves of anti- immigrant sentiment, the volume takes an unflinchingly critical look at the realities and rhetoric of the new nativism. How can the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II illuminate our understanding of the English Only movement today? How has the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty evolved since its dedication and what can it tell us about the American disposition to immigration? What is the new nativism? What are the semantic and rhetorical similarities, if any, between the most shrill nativist voices of the present, such as Pat Buchanan's or Peter Brimelow's in his widely publicized book Alien Nation, and National Socialist propaganda in 1930s Germany?

Juan Perea has here assembled a truly interdisciplinary group of contributors to emphasize the changing relationship between citizens and immigrants, and the effects of economics, history, and demographics on that relationship. Immigrants Out! provides a needed antidote to the often poisonous attacks on America's most vulnerable.


  • "Another in the excellent Critical America series edited by critical race theory scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (both also contributors to this volume), Perea and co-authors tackle the politically contentious and emotionally charged issue of immgrants and immigration. The contributors are united by a critical persprective on the link between immigration and citizenship, and between citizenship and race. They argue persuasively that nativism is a form of American racism.”