No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants

No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants

by Alina Das


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This provocative account of our immigration system's long, racist history reveals how it has become the brutal machine that upends the lives of millions of immigrants today.

Each year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested, imprisoned, and deported, trapped in what leading immigrant rights activist and lawyer Alina Das calls the "deportation machine." The bulk of the arrests target people who have a criminal record — so-called "criminal aliens" — the majority of whose offenses are immigration-, drug-, or traffic-related. These individuals are uprooted and banished from their homes, their families, and their communities.

Through the stories of those caught in the system, Das traces the ugly history of immigration policy to explain how the U.S. constructed the idea of the "criminal alien," effectively dividing immigrants into the categories "good" and "bad," "deserving" and "undeserving." As Das argues, we need to confront the cruelty of the machine so that we can build an inclusive immigration policy premised on human dignity and break the cycle once and for all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568589466
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 292,626
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Alina Das is an immigrant rights activist, lawyer, and professor at New York University (NYU) School of Law. Das is the co-director of the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, a leading institution in national and local struggles for immigrant rights. She defends the rights of immigrants facing deportation and partners with community groups on immigrant rights campaigns. Her legal scholarship has been published by leading law journals and cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Das is the recipient of numerous awards for advocacy and teaching, including the Immigrant Defense Project Champion of Justice Award, the Daniel Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigration Law, the New York State Youth Leadership Council Outstanding Attorney Award, the NYU Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award, and the NYU Law School Podell Distinguished Teaching Award. Das is a frequent commentator on immigration law and policy for national and local media outlets. Das lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 The "Criminal Aliens" Among Us 11

2 Origins of Control 27

3 Rise of the Deportation Machine 59

4 The Pipeline 87

5 The Cage 115

6 The "Loss of All That Makes Life Worth Living" 141

7 Politics of Fear 161

8 Justice for All 187

Epilogue 213

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 221

Index 247

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