The Treatment of Noncitizens after September 11 in Historical Context

Samuel Martínez

in International Migration and Human Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258211
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942578 | DOI:
The Treatment of Noncitizens after September 11 in Historical Context

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This chapter sheds light on important continuities and changes in the ways in which the United States (U.S.) has treated its noncitizen residents in times of perceived threats to national security. Specifically, it compares the federal government's response to the events of September 11, 2001, with the Red Scare of the 1920s and the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. It not only draws the parallels between now and then but also finds links between the government's actions that followed September 11 and how the United States treated its noncitizens and descendants of immigrants in other periods. The U.S. government's targeting of selected immigrant groups, post-9/11, is not just similar to its persecution of aliens at earlier moments of crisis. It is in some ways directly the heir to the legislation, judicial precedents, and social trends of those earlier times. This study discusses questions concerning what explanations and insights can be gained by examining this historical relationship and possible courses of action for the future.

Keywords: noncitizens; September 11; national security; federal government; immigrant groups

Chapter.  7812 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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