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, and Deterritorialized Nation-States. by Linda Basch; Nina Glick Schiller; Cristina Szanton Blanc; Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity. by David G. Gutierrez Review by: Tamar Diana Wilson Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 24, No. 2, Communal Strategies and Intellectual Transitions: Central America Prepares for the 21st Century (Mar., 1997), pp. 117-121 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2634075 . Accessed: 06/10/2012 09:53
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oftheNation-State The Deterritorialization andCitizenship Dynamics Imnmigrants
Diana Wilson Tamar Szanton Unbound: andCristina Blanc, Nations NinaGlick Schilier, LindaBasch, and Breach, 1994) States (Basel:Gordon
and Deterritorialized NationPostcolonial Predicaments, Projects, Transnational
Immigrants, and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Walls David G. Gutifrrez,
ofCalifornia 1995) Press, University (Berkeley: andthe Politics ofEthnicity
form a social agreeing tobe compact theory, people In classical political liberal become "citizens" Asa result ofthis social compact they for their own good. governed andtoward havecertain within which state rights they delimited ofa territorially ofstate forms the This scenario formation certain obligations. which they recognize under consticlaims tocitizenship ofmany politically however mythological, basis, "democracies." tuted and to a particular territorialized state as "belonging" If we define citizenship America elsewhere Latin as movements and the new throughout envision citizenship certain ofcitizens political, economic, action claiming collective groups byvarious what state owesthem, canwesayabout that believe "their" benefits andsocial they or illegally of transnational immigrants, legally anomalous themessy, position ina state towhich do not "belong"? andworking they documents) living (without Ifthey from of country only their acquire rights norights? do,do they Havethey orshould andcanthey donot oronly they intermittently reside), they origin (where inwhich reside andtowhose they ofrights bestowed bythestate take advantage What to contribute both labor andtaxes? arethe answers immigrants' economy they these questions? orindirectly on throw light Twobooks transnational directly migrants concerning these questions. editor of Latin American and Wilson isanassociate currently Perspectives Tamar Diana inCabo San Mexico. Lucas, resides
LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES, Issue93, Vol.24 No. 2, March1997 117-121 ? 1997LatinAmerican Perspectives 117
LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
thecases of WestIndian, Basch,GlickSchiller, and SzantonBlanc,analyzing in socialfields" grounded Haitian, andFilipino migrants, focus onthe"transnational family andeconomy in twoor morenationkinship and socialnetworks that unite is becoming nation-state andargue that thepostmodem "deterritorialized." states is a controversial term I havemistakenly "nation-state" (and one that Although in that states almostno contemporary contain onlya single used in mywritings) and linguistically population thatcan be labeled a "nation"and is coextensive a specific with state are territory (Connors, 1994),immigrant populations culturally from their homestates withnationalistic (or,perhaps beingwooed by politicians are beingextended to out-migrant rights better, "patriotic") appeals. Citizenship of other of legal citizensand/or legal or illegalresidents populations consisting in theUnited to theHaitian referred Statesas countries. ThusAristide immigrants intoninegeographical units known as "theTenth Department" (Haitibeingdivided forvarious of his policiesin Haiti. their and sought support departments) political were ina presidential election aidandvotes Financial byGrenadian politicians sought inNewYork. Baschetal. interpret that community from among country's immigrant from ofincorporation afar as a stretching ofthe nation-state this concept phenomenon ofthe deterritorialized itcould into a newconcept tobring nation-state, although being of therecognition of an essentialized also be just as easilylabeled an extension from St. Vinrelocated. Manyimmigrants "citizenship" amongthegeographically ownland, andsmall have andthe houses, businesses, cent, Grenada, Haiti, Philippines children andparents, towhom sendremittances, andsupport they relatives, including in their homecountries. Thustherecognition of and publicworks philanthrophies is essentially in their states of origin a recognition of their continued "citizenship" a solicitation often ofeven contributions their economic out, and,as Baschetal. point intheUnited Atthesametime, somepoliticians States also more economic support. often topersuade for their ownpolitical them to purposes, try woo these immigrants andsometimes on their so that can vote, showof becomelegalcitizens depend they orcondemn toward their homestates, thus tosupport policies strength U.S.-generated ownhegemonic construction ofthe nation-state andcitizenship. And promoting their witha viewto influencing do indeedbecomeU.S. citizens U.S. many immigrants toward their "home"countries. policy andFilipino communities aredivided West immigrant byclassat Indian, Haitian, as wellas atdestination andinthefirst distinctions twocasesbyracial brought origin with them from their homestates. Although cross-class alliances arepossible within theseimmigrant whosemembers' usual occupation of dead-end and communities, in theU.S. economy devalued structural are they position similar, jobs makestheir of racism in theUnited which notguaranteed. The experience States, lumpsall of lead tocooperation within theimmiAfrican does notnecessarily ancestry together, in the as reference is madetoracialdistinctions formulated grant community either, bestow different racialprivilege inthe where shadesofcolorandincome homeland, Haitian often WestIndiesand Haiti.Thusbetter-off immigrants sought, especially to the UnitedStates,to live in "white" decades of immigration the first during their French far from theHaitian "lower classes"andstressed cultural neighborhoods
BOOKREVIEW 119 these class Morerecently, from African Americans. themselves heritage todistinguish vis-a-vis their political action havebeenmuted in theinterest ofcommon divisions Haiti, but, as Baschetal. point States andas regards intheUnited subaltern position spokesmen that bourgeois classinterests inHaitiitis unlikely out,given thedifferent orevenwishto articulate theinterests ofthepoor. can articulate also been immigrants havehistorically andtheMexican The MexicanAmericans of dimensions, at origin, class regional subculture including dividedon a number in theUnited as Guti6rrez points outin Wallsand States, and generation position, ofNorth Americans to or evenbecauseof,theperiodic tendency Mirrors-despite, themas constituting an indistinguishable and thesegroupsand envision conflate after the ofthe ofGuadalupe Hidalgo Sinceshortly Treaty signing undesirable "other." States along were into the United incorporated in 1848,when vastMexican territories Mexican Americans andtheir representative resident Mexican populations, with their orientation to their Mexicanorigins and their have splitover their organizations Latin American American state. Some,likeLULAC (LeagueofUnited relation tothe in the1920s and forthefirst several decadesof itsexistence, Citizens), beginning from came out its votingmembership, excludedMexican immigrants officially of 1942-1964 Mexicanimmigration, program further opposedthebracero against and espouseda "melting callingfor pot"philosophy, because of job competition, inorder tocombat thediscrimination faced electoral politics through gradual reforms socioeconomic conditions underwhich and theatrocious by MexicanAmericans inorder on immigrants lived.Theyurged U.S. citizenship Americans many Mexican societies and suchas various local mutual-aid to reachthese political goals.Others, with theCIO (Congress of Industrial thoseaffiliated unionmovements, especially andMexican as memMexican Americans included both immigrants Organizations), onthe tofurther becauseofitsimpact labor often bers. immigration opposed Although The Congress of Spanish-Speaking Peoples market, theywereantiassimilationist. as a result of theefforts of theGuatemalan labor in 1939 partly (CSSP), organized workers werealready heldthat Mexicanimmigrant fulfilling leaderLuisa Moreno, theirhardworkand shouldbe extended of citizenship the obligations through intheU.S. economy. The CSSP urged for rolesthey thevaluable played recognition forthesimple reasonthat as citizens on Mexicanimmigrants they U.S. citizenship within United States. Whereas defend their interests the LULAC focused couldbetter ofMexicandescent, theCSSP endorsed U.S. citizens for on civilrights exclusively as well. for Mexicanimmigrants civilrights a mainly middle-class membership outthat LULAC incorporated Despite pointing andtheCSSP mainly union andthemutual-aid working-class movements, societies, hismonograph MexicanAmericans that anddespite throughout members admitting forthe negative "racial" Mexicanimmigrants blamedthe "lower-class" initially inbyAnglo-Americans, Gutierrez anddiscriminatory indulged practices stereotypes intheir variable is notanexplanatory theclassbasisofthese claims that organizations a class analysis wouldbe more that demonstrates however, policies.His evidence, than enlightening.
LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
ofa greater datesthe consciousness among Mexican AmeriGutierrez beginnings to 1954, when "Operation cans of whattheysharedwithMexican immigrants led to thedeportation Wetback" ofMexicanspousesofMexicanAmerican citizens even themost en masse.By the 1970s,withtheburgeoning Chicanomovement, began to reconceive their conservative of the Mexican American organizations civil devalued position in U.S. society in terms of an absenceof basic civilrights: partof a common rights abuses of Mexicanimmigrants came to be considered Withthe problem of discriminatory practices sanctioned by theU.S. government. tolegislate employer sanctions against introduction oftheSimpson-Rodino proposals Farm evenCesarChavez'sUnited Workers, longopponents undocumented workers, of unionizing of Mexicanimmigration becauseof itsperceived weakening efforts, revisions of theimmigration therhetoric tooka standagainst laws. Gradually of indifference. was replaced ofandpride assimilation bya newconsciousness In Nations that a multiculturalism basedon recogUnbound, Baschetal. suggest "race"has thepotential to challenge thehegemonic construction nition of common also applauds theChicanomovement foritsmulticulof thenation-state. Gutierrez assimilationist stance. Constructions based on common "racial" turalist rather than in a racistsociety, while empowering seem to speak to background, however, rather than constructs Alliancesof alternative hegemonic beingcounterhegemonic. distinct with a common structural that andracially position, is,class culturally peoples whether within a particular wouldhavegreater status, counterhegemonic potential, The divisiveness of class distinctions within or transnationally. the "nation-state" and bourgeois elements' lack of reprevariousimmigrant communities probable at thepoint of discussing of thepoorarementioned butleft sentativeness dangling inNationsUnbound. American racialalliances African norWalls NationsUnbound and Mirrors to gender Neither paysmuchattention is mentioned or in political in onlyin passing issuesin migration activity-gender Yetgender andnotatall inthesecond. roleinwhois thefirst volume playsa central women's as Hondagneu-Sotelo with enabled tomigrate, (1994) migratory networks, Mexicanmigration intheUnited torecent often outwith States, being points regard with malemigratory eveninthecase ofspouses.Hagan's nonoverlapping networks, ofa Guatemalan inHouston, shows howgender Texas, (1994) study Mayacommunity theImmigration Control andReform Act(IRCA) claimsfor under affected amnesty the employers'of 1986 and thuswomen'spotential Incorporating citizenship. of theSimpson-Rodino to sanctions amnesty provisions bills,theIRCA provided who had worked and residedcontinuously workers in theUnited undocumented inthe 1982onward. women Guatemalan worked States from community Manyofthe little with andenjoyed contact therest ofthecommunity domestics as live-in except hadtwoconsequences for Thisisolation their status. on their regularizing daysoff. fordocumentation of their on employers First, theywere completely dependent was notalwaysforthcoming; documentation that had no continued they residence, didnothavethe their rent Second, they receipts, utility bills,etc.,toprove presence. flowed information that mendid,networks which socialnetworks extensive through
BOOKREVIEW 121 and how to manipulate theprovisions in aboutthelaw,how to applyforamnesty, residence. Thusgender is a variable that should order to acquireat leasttemporary in themultifaceted oftransnational notbe ignored immigration. dynamics States, or,alternatively, some The acquisition of"citizenship rights" intheUnited has unexpected outcomes; people limited rights via the amnesty program often thestructures that them in unpredictable exercisetheir encapsulate agencywithin oftheimmigrant communities they ways.As Baschet al. point out,somemembers in order weremotivated tobecomeU.S. citizens to influence studied policyin their In the Maya community studied by Hagan,the "home"statesmoreeffectively. enabled amnestied tovisit ofamnesty immigrants Guatemala for procurement papers and thereby timein many on lifein theUnited foster thefirst States, years, report evenmore(undocumented) immigration. ofthis review havebeenanswered Thequestions differently posedatthe beginning and U.S. citizens their of representatives, by organizations including immigrants, havebeen and are beingprodescent. Position immigrant papersand declarations andmigrant workers' Nations immigrant rights mulgated by theUnited concerning canform basisofnewly claims inthe Thesedocuments the abroad. legitimated future, seldom existence Declaration justas theUniversal inan eraoftransnational equaled, consciousness ofvarious of 1948hasslowly the ofHuman interest Rights permeated their claimsto rights LatinAmerica andelsewhere, that groups within legitimating within the"nation-states" in which wereborn be bestowed they should uponcitizens andreside.
Walker Connor, Princeton: Princeton The Questfor Understanding. University 1994 Ethnonationalism: Press. Marfa Hagan,Jacqueline inHouston. toBe Legal:A MayaCommunity 1994Deciding Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, of Transitions: Mexican ofImmigration. Berkeley: University 1994 Gendered Experiences California Press.