Chapter

The Making of an Outlaw Generation

Nina Bernstein

in Writing Immigration

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267176
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950207 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267176.003.0002
The Making of an Outlaw Generation

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The prolonged controversy over mass immigration is embodied in the lives of the eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States. This chapter reflects on five years of immigration coverage for the New York Times to examine the impact of escalating immigration enforcement on a generation of children in unauthorized or mixed-status immigrant families. More than a million are coming of age without proper papers; at least four million others are at risk of deportation or family separation because a parent is in the country illegally. The chapter asks whether these children and young adults are forming a new kind of American caste system, one that challenges the nation's concepts of civil rights. It also explores how journalists and academics researching questions of assimilation deal honestly with the issue of legal status without putting vulnerable subjects at risk. Using examples from previous work, the chapter addresses this growing challenge and how it affects both news coverage and social science research.

Keywords: United States; immigration; illegal immigrants; children; immigrant families; deportation; civil rights; news coverage; social science research; New York Times

Chapter.  8880 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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