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The Cultural Politics of U.S. ImmigrationGender, Race, and Media$
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Leah Perry

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479828777

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479828777.001.0001

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Crossing Neoliberalism?

(p.205) Conclusion
The Cultural Politics of U.S. Immigration

Leah Perry

NYU Press

This chapter examines the legacy of Reaganite immigration discourse in policy and popular culture. With consideration of more recent discourse about immigrants in policy debate and media, it is shown that the gender and racial issues underscoring Reagan-era immigration debate have not been resolved, nor have the “immigration emergency” and “nation of immigrants” tropes been abandoned, even after the “War on Terror” following 9/11 altered immigration discourse. Identifying continuities in legislation and media, it argues that nation-based rights are worthless under neoliberalism, given that the system and immigration itself is by definition transnational and unequal, and makes a case for queering immigrant rights in policy and culture to obviate the lingering hegemony of de/valuing immigrants on the basis of personal responsibility, hard work, race, and adherence to conventional gender and sex roles.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, immigration, immigrant rights, Reagan-era, policy, popular Culture, gender, race, immigration emergency, nation of immigrants

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