Essay on journal of american ethnic history

40 Journal of American Ethnic History Winter 2017 Volume 36, Number 2 © 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

Debating the Racial Turn in U.S. Ethnic and Immigration History


WHAT IS THE RACIAL TURN IN U.S. ethnic and immigration his- tory? It is often understood as a turn away from the historical study of European immigrants toward the study of Asian and Latin American immi- grants; a turn away from the ethnic model of different European groups’ incorporation into U.S. society to a focus on processes of racialization that have facilitated inclusion into the United States for groups that claimed whiteness, and exclusion for others, such as Asians and Latinos; even a turn away from history itself toward interdisciplinary methods, including ethnic studies.1

When was the racial turn in U.S. ethnic and immigration history? A spe- cial issue of this journal in Summer 1999 highlighted this turning process with articles by Donna Gabaccia, Jon Gjerde, and Erika Lee.2 Although the contributors focused on varied aspects of immigration history, the strongest divisions about the state of the field were expressed by George Sánchez and Rudolph Vecoli. These divisions focused primarily on the racial turn. In his article “Race, Nation, and Culture in Recent Immigration Studies,” Sánchez argued that immigration history was constructed around a normative model of European immigration, and that immigration historians had unsuccess- fully attempted to expand this model to include new, racialized groups of immigrants such as Asians and Latinos. According to Sánchez, although ethnic studies scholars had long focused on race, it was not until the 1990s that immigration historians began “to recognize that race has and does play a critical role in the adaptation of newcomers to American society.”3 He argued that Asian and Latino immigrants were not only immigrants but also racial- ized minorities. Therefore, immigration historians should not subsume them under an exclusively immigration- based model, but should recognize their long- standing presence and racialization in America. In response, Vecoli acknowledged that immigration historians had not paid sufficient atten- tion to race in their studies of non- European immigrants, and recognized that there were differences in varied immigrant groups’ experiences. How- ever, he questioned Sánchez’s division between European immigrants and

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immigrants of color, and rejected the idea that non- European immigrants’ experiences differed “en masse in all respects” from those of European immigrants. To accept this claim would, for Vecoli, “deny the possibility of a holistic conception of the field.” “Whether Mexicans, Chinese, Irish, or Italians,” Vecoli wrote, “the histories of these immigrants all contain their quota of suffering, prejudice, and exploitation as well as of accommodation, assimilation, and achievement.”4 Using the 1999 articles as a framework, this essay traces the historiography of the racial turn through debates between immigration historians and ethnic studies scholars, considers the place of Ellis Island in these debates, and argues that the racial turn in immigration history has not fully challenged traditional ideas about U.S. immigration and assimilation.5

The division between immigration historians and ethnic studies scholars revolves around two related areas: the ethnic paradigm of immigrant assimi- lation and the centrality of ethnic inclusion versus racial exclusion in U.S. history. The ethnic paradigm, sometimes described as the immigrant, immi- gration, or assimilation paradigm, was first advanced by sociologists such as Robert Park during the 1920s to challenge biologically based understand- ings of racial and ethnic identity. Using immigrants, specifically European immigrants, as the model for processes of cultural adaptation, the ethnic paradigm assumes the inevitability of incorporation, and that shared patterns of cultural adaptation are common to all ethnic groups, including racialized groups such as African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos.6 Confus- ingly, for the undergraduate students I teach, Park used “race- relations cycle” to describe what has become known as the ethnic paradigm. And scholars in the fields of ethnic studies have been at the forefront of dismantling the ethnic paradigm of immigration history, emphasizing instead the centrality of race. In terms of historiography, both Vecoli and Sánchez identify the 1960s and 1970s as key to the transformation of immigration history and the posi- tion of immigrants within American society. However, they identify these changes in different ways. For Vecoli, this time represented the flourishing of immigration history, as scholars (many of whom were themselves the children of European immigrants and members of the ethnic groups that they studied) challenged the assimilation paradigm with a pluralist understanding of ethnicity and a recognition of “cultural continuities (transplantation rather than uprooting), transnational influences, and immigrant agency.” Accord- ing to Vecoli, this work ended the “truly marginal” status of immigration history within American history.7

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For Sánchez, the 1965 Immigration Act and other global changes were critical because they shifted U.S. immigration away from Europe and toward Latin America and Asia, creating a profound change in the racial composi- tion of the United States. Building on these demographic transformations, Sánchez emphasized that since the 1960s, “the emergence, growth, and maturity of scholarship focusing on African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans has changed the treatment of race and ethnicity from a peripheral concern to one of central importance in understanding justice and equality in American history.”8 Although Sánchez does not reference these directly, the formation of a School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State College after a four- month student strike from 1968 to 1969 and the expansion of ethnic studies programs across the United States in the following decades were key to this new scholarship.9 In different ways, both Vecoli and Sán- chez trace a story of immigration history and ethnic studies moving from the margins of U.S. history to the mainstream. However, even as Vecoli and Sánchez discuss similar moves within their fields, their articles seem to misread each other: Sánchez understands Vecoli’s focus on ethnicity as reinforcing the ethnic paradigm, while Vecoli claims that Sánchez’s insistence on race reinforces ascriptive racial catego- ries. Neither is true. Vecoli notes that he did not recognize himself or his colleagues in Sánchez’s portrayal of immigration history during the 1960s and 1970s. Sánchez emphasized immigration historians’ oversight of race, and suggested that they were perpetuating the same ethnic paradigm for all immigrant groups. However, as Donna Gabaccia notes in her commentary essay, as early as 1964, Vecoli precisely and incisively demonstrated that processes of cultural adaptation for Italian contadini in Chicago did not fit into the overarching model of peasant assimilation proposed by Oscar Handlin in The Uprooted (1951).10 Nevertheless, as Jon Gjerde noted in the same 1999 set of essays, “in contesting the model, many of its components were accepted, at least implicitly.”11 Although Vecoli and his colleagues challenged the teleological and universal assumptions of the assimilation paradigm by showing that immigrant agency and transnational cultural con- nections impact adapation in important ways, the fundamental framework of focusing on ethnic incorporation remained intact. At the same time, I am sure that ethnic studies scholars do not recog- nize themselves in Vecoli’s depiction of the racial turn. Vecoli argues that Sánchez’s “insistence on the centrality of race in American history appears to harden [racial] ascriptions into unchanging, inescapable categories,” and that scholars who attend to the centrality of race fail to recognize

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“dramatic differences along lines of class, religion, and culture.”12 Like the suggestion that immigration historians subscribe to a single narrative of inevitable assimilation, this appraisal overlooks the subtleties of eth- nic studies scholarship. Sánchez’s own Becoming Mexican American, for example, recognizes the complex processes involved in the development of Mexican American identity, arguing that it is an important example of acculturation without class advancement, and nuancing this argument with detailed attention to questions not only of race, but also religion, region, gender, and generation.13

Continuing with historiography, the 1980s and 1990s represented an acceleration in the racial turn as the ethnic paradigm was both challenged and influenced by Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s conception of racial formation.14 As Gabaccia notes, the term “immigrant paradigm” was cre- ated by critics of this approach, including Omi and Winant.15 Starting in the 1980s, historians such as Reginald Horsman, David Montejano, and Neil Foley studied the ways that Anglo- Saxon racialism and whiteness were constituted in relation to Mexican Americans in what is now the U.S. Southwest.16 Sánchez identifies the 1990s as a key moment when scholars such as David Roediger, Michael Rogin, James Barrett, and Gary Gerstle focused on the role of race in the incorporation of European immigrants into American society. “By discussing race as a relational concept, rather than a biological or cultural one,” Sánchez argued that “Roediger has made it clear that part of the integration of European immigrants and their descen- dants into the American mainstream has been positioning themselves as ‘white,’ as opposed to ‘black.’”17 Most scholars acknowledge the impor- tance of Alexander Saxton’s pioneering role in whiteness studies, citing The Rise and Fall of the White Republic: Class Politics and Mass Culture in Nineteenth- Century America (1990). However, Sánchez questioned why historians did not draw more on Saxton’s earlier (1971) work, The Indis- pensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti- Chinese Movement in California, to explore how whiteness was constituted not only in opposition to blackness but also Asianness.18 As already noted, there has been early and ongoing scholarship focusing on the formation of whiteness in relation to Mexican Americans. With Philip Deloria’s foundational Playing Indian (1999), there has also been exploration of the ways that conceptions of whiteness and Americanness were formed in relation to American Indians.19 However, despite Sánchez’s call, there has been relatively little research regarding the ways that white identity is constituted in relation to Asians. Where this has been considered, in historical studies of Americans’ consolidation of their

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whiteness through anti- Asian exclusion and unionization efforts as well as in racial prerequisite cases that barred Asians from naturalization, Asians are viewed as the opposite of both whiteness and Americanness.20

Instead of Sánchez’s suggestion for more studies of the formation of whiteness against Asianness, there has been much more work on the ways that Asians attempted to define their Americanness and obtain U.S. citizen- ship through whiteness and in opposition to blackness. During the 1990s, Gary Okihiro asked “is yellow black or white?,” and Nazli Kibria questioned whether South Asians were “not Asian, black, or white.”21 These questions have informed a burgeoning historical scholarship since 2000 on the inter- sticial racial position of Asians in America. Moon- Ho Jung has mapped the place of Chinese laborers in relation to blackness on post- Civil War planta- tions, while Eiichiro Azuma has delineated the complex ways that Japanese immigrants positioned themselves in relation to whiteness and racial purity in the U.S. and Japanese empires. Charlotte Brooks and Matthew Briones have explored the ways that Japanese Americans negotiated a racialized position between blackness and whiteness during and post- World War II, while Scott Kurashige has traced the shifting relationship between black and Japanese Americans across twentieth- century Los Angeles. Among others, Daryl Maeda has emphasized the importance of radical blackness to the Asian American Movement, and Ellen Wu has elaborated upon the emergence of Asian Americans as a supposed model minority through the racial politics of anti- blackness during the 1960s.22

Outside of Asian American history, scholars such as Tiya Miles have considered the construction of Cherokee nationhood in relation to black- ness and whiteness during periods of Cherokee nation- building and forced migration in the nineteenth century.23 Thomas Guglielmo has delineated Mexican American claims to whiteness during World War II struggles for civil rights.24 The flourishing of historical studies that focus on the relational construction of race between different racialized ethnic groups suggests a critical shift away from the centrality of whiteness to a multi- ethnic focus in which whiteness is not only constructed in opposition to “other races,” but all racial identities are constructed in relation to one another. At the same time, just a few studies by scholars such as Natalia Molina consider processes of racial and ethnic formation without focusing on blackness or whiteness, suggesting the ongoing power of the black- white binary even as historians attempt to disrupt this binary.25

The second central point of contention, which intersects with debates about the ethnic paradigm, is the significance of inclusion versus exclusion

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in U.S. history. More specifically, scholars debate whether exclusion is contradictory to the basic principles of the U.S. polity (and was gradu- ally challenged for different groups, leading the United States to fulfill its promise through increased inclusion) or whether exclusion was constitu- tive of (and remains central to) the United States. Matthew Frye Jacobson points to this debate in Whiteness of a Different Color when he discusses the foundational 1790 Act that limited naturalization rights to “free white persons.” Jacobson notes that “with two centuries hindsight, the first thing one is likely to notice about the 1790 naturalization law is its fierce exclu- sivity.” He continues: “What is too easily missed from our vantage point is the staggering inclusivity of the 1790 naturalization law.”26 At a time when many nations restricted citizenship rights on the basis of class, property, ethnicity, and religion (and all did so on grounds of gender), the U.S. law expressed not only exclusion but also the inclusion of all men who defined themselves—and were accepted—as white. Jacobson points to the simulta- neous exclusion and inclusion based on race in this foundational citizenship law. In immigration history, debates about the significance of exclusion are most clearly delineated in scholarship on racialized exclusion and deporta- tion within immigration law. Erika Lee has shown how Chinese exclusion was central to the development of U.S. immigration policy, and Mae Ngai has analyzed how illegal aliens were legally defined and, in turn, contrib- uted to the delineation of the U.S. nation state.27 More recently, Daniel Kanstroom, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Rachel Buff, and Deirdre Moloney have demonstrated the mutually reinforcing underpinnings of exclusion and deportation policies.28 For all these scholars, race is key to understanding immigration policy. Earlier scholars of deportation and repatriation gener- ally emphasized the role of radicalism in studies of European socialists and anarchists, or racialization in Mexican repatriation and deportation.29 However, as Seema Sohi argues in her history of South Asian radicalism in the early twentieth century, U.S., Canadian, and British authorities translated radical politics into a racial threat.30 During the 2000s, scholars emphasized the constitutive nature of exclusion and deportation, showing how such practices were central to the development of immigration policy. The racial turn is also a turn from focusing on ethnic incorporation to racial exclusion. Immigration historians have often focused on the complex, contested processes of ethnic inclusion in the eastern United States, especially New York City, while many ethnic studies scholars emphasize processes of racialized exclusion in other locations, especially U.S. southwestern and

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western states. In Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity (2007), Paul Spickard advances an ethnic studies approach through a synthetic U.S. history text that starts in multiple locations. In an opening section titled “Beyond Ellis Island—How Not to Think about Immigration History,” Spickard challenges the European, New York- centric model of immigration history, and argues that much recent immigration history chips away at the immigrant assimilation paradigm, which he describes as the Ellis Island model, but does not overturn it. “The Ellis Island Museum in New York Harbor presents Ellis Island as ‘America’s Gate,’” Spickard writes. “Well, it is one of America’s gates.”31 Other scholars have also emphasized that Ellis Island was just one of a number of arrival points for immigrants, with Asian immigrants excluded at Angel Island and many more individuals crossing and recrossing at El Paso.32 The centrality of Ellis Island’s symbolism to American understand- ings of immigration depends upon the belief that relatively free European immigration is the main narrative of U.S. immigration history. Erika Lee and Sucheng Chan and have emphasized that “in its celebration of how European immigrants were welcomed into and remade America, the popular Ellis Island mythology eclipses more complicated histories, like those from Angel Island.”33

However, we do not need to turn away from Ellis Island to overturn the Ellis Island model of immigration. The Ellis Island mythology not only eclipses more complex histories of Asian and Latin American immigration at other stations; it also eclipses these histories at Ellis Island. In fact, focus- ing on Ellis Island illuminates both moves made as part of the racial turn: the shift toward understanding race and racialized groups as central to U.S. histories of immigration and the shift toward emphasizing the centrality of exclusion within immigration policy. Although Ellis Island is almost exclusively associated with European immigrants, Asians and other racialized immigrants also entered the United States through New York. Prior to the 1920s, no more than 170 Chinese immigrants arrived at Ellis Island each year (less than 1 percent of total Chinese arrivals), most arriving via secondary migration from the Caribbean and Latin America. This number later averaged 350 each year (4 percent of total arrivals), as Chinese entrants through Angel Island fell from 60 to 40 percent of total Chinese immigration.34 Despite these low numbers, after the Chinese Bureau was transferred to Ellis Island in 1927, the station long associated with European immigration also became the central office for Asian exclusion in the eastern United States.35 While the numbers of legally

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authorized Asian immigrants at Ellis Island were very small, these were not the only Asian arrivals. New York was not only the largest port for legal immigration, but it was also the largest port for stowaways and sailors who jumped ship to settle without authorization in the United States. On average, more than six hundred alien stowaways and about six thousand alien sailors of all races jumped ship each year in New York.36 Hundreds of Asian sail- ors deserted in New York, many times higher than in San Francisco.37 This large- scale unauthorized immigration may have been overlooked because New York is typically associated with legal immigration, and illegal entry is typically associated with border crossing. Scholars such as Adam Good- man have argued for a migration, rather than immigration, approach to U.S. history that would incorporate internal and international, as well as free, forced, and coerced migration by diverse groups, including Native Americans, Africans, and African Americans.38 However, this approach still favors settlement. After 1918, the regulation of sailors formed a substantial portion of immigration officials’ work as they conducted more than 1 mil- lion inspections of alien seamen docking in U.S. ports each year; almost half of these inspections were in New York.39 However, this work is rarely considered by immigration historians because sailors were not immigrants. Although jump- ship sailors formed a significant proportion of New York’s Chinese, Filipino, and South Asian communities, many sailors only lived in the United States briefly before they moved.40

Ellis Island also illuminates historical understandings of detention and deportation. By 1917, Ellis Island had facilities for up to two thousand detainees and, during the 1920s and 1930s, the island was often reported as being “crowded to capacity.”41 During World War II, the former immigration station was used as an internment camp for Japanese, German, and Italian enemy aliens. From this time through its closing, Ellis Island was used pri- marily as a “detention facility.”42 When Gem Hoy Lew arrived at Ellis Island in 1951, he was housed in the segregated Chinese dormitory and detained for two months. In an oral history conducted by the Ellis Island Oral History Project, Lew described his interrogation and mentioned his fears of being sent home. “You know,” he told his interviewer, “they ask you different kinds of questions like your sister’s children, their names, their birthdays. I mean, how can people remember that?” Even though Lew was not a paper son attempting to enter the United States by falsifying his identity, he wrote down all the details of his family’s life in order to be able to memorize them. Although he acknowledged that “it sounds ridiculous,” he knew that “you pick the wrong date, hey, you get sent back to China.”43 Although some of

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Lew’s fellow Chinese detainees were held at Ellis Island for six months or more, he was released in February 1952 in time to celebrate Chinese New Year in New York, “just like in China.”44 Lew’s experience was similar to that of Chinese arriving in San Francisco. Although Ellis Island was a key site for large- scale European migration, this was not its only significance. As these brief examples suggest, the Ellis Island model of immigration not only fails to explain the complexity of immigration and exclusion across the United States; it also fails to explain this complexity at Ellis Island itself. Asian migration and racialized exclusion are also part of the history of Ellis Island. Does recent scholarly work suggest we are reaching a point of synthesis in debates about the racial turn? Perhaps. In 2015, Erika Lee revisited the debate between Sánchez and Vecoli, noting that, as one of the first genera- tion of scholars fully trained as Asian Americanists, she considered herself both an ethnic studies scholar and an immigration historian. Studying under Sánchez at the University of Michigan, with a PhD in American studies and a concentration in history, I share Lee’s understanding of bridging ethnic studies and immigration history. In Almost All Aliens, Spickard seeks to create a new paradigm for understanding U.S. immigration and identity by holding “in tension” different models, including immigrant assimilation and racial formation as well as transnationalism, colonialism, and diaspora.45

Immigration historians emphasize that they have been challenging (or chipping away at) the ethnic paradigm of immigration for more than fifty years. Ethnic studies scholars have been working to emphasize the centrality of race and exclusion within immigration history for at least thirty. So why, we might reasonably ask, do the Ellis Island model and ethnic paradigm maintain their persuasive power? Clearly, narratives of American immi- gration history do not originate with nor are they most fully circulated by professional scholars. In discussing historical debates around contentious topics such as remembering the Alamo, Michel- Rolph Trouillot notes that “theories of history have a rather limited view of the field of historical production.” Such ideas about history “grossly underestimate the size, the relevance, and the complexity of the overlapping sites where history is produced, notably outside of academia.”46 Similarly, immigration histories exist in a wide range of locations, including political campaign rhetoric and popular news media, historical sites, and K–12 classrooms. Ethnic studies has been very influential in immigration history, but ethnic studies programs that challenge the Ellis Island mythology remain underfunded and under attack. More importantly, at a time of massive global migration,

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there is limited public recognition of the work of ethnic studies scholars and immigration historians who explore how current racist exclusionist rhetoric is part of a long history of efforts to exclude racialized immigrants. As immigration historians and ethnic studies scholars may be reaching points of agreement in debating the racial turn, these approaches may not be enough to challenge the ongoing turn against racialized immigrants.


My thanks to the following colleagues and students for their assistance and insights: Thomas Guglielmo, Madeline Hsu, Olivia Rose, my undergraduate immigration history and Asian American history students, and especially Kirsten Fermaglich.

1. The “racial turn” throughout scholarship is much broader than these shifts. Indeed, it may be appropriate to talk of multiple racial turns in varied disciplines starting in the 1990s, all of which have come to influence ethnic history and immigration history, as well as U.S. history, in some way. This turn is connected to ongoing critiques of traditional epistemologies and part of a broader set of turns across different academic disciplines, including literature and legal studies. In literature, see Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992); and Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996). In legal studies, see Ian Haney López, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race. Rev. ed. (1996; New York: NYU Press, 2006). 2. The articles appeared in the Journal of American Ethnic History 18, no. 4 (Summer 1999), following an Immigration and Ethnic History Society- sponsored panel at the 1998 American Historical Association Annual Meeting. 3. George J. Sanchez, “Race, Nation, and Culture in Recent Immigration Studies,” Journal of American Ethnic History 18, no. 4 (Summer 1999): 69. 4. Rudolph Vecoli, “Comment: We Study the Present to Understand the Past,” Journal of American Ethnic History 18, no. 4 (Summer 1999): 118. 5. In focusing on race and ethnicity, this article does not address many aspects of the 1999 debates that have continued to influence immigration history, such as understandings of transnationalism and colonialism. These have been ably addressed by Erika Lee in “A Part and Apart: Asian Americans and Immigration History,” Journal of American Ethnic History 34, no. 4 (Summer 2015): 28–42. 6. On Park, see Jon Gjerde, “New Growth on Old Vines: The State of the Field: The Social History of Immigration to and Ethnicity in the United States,” Journal of American Ethnic History 18, no. 4 (Summer 1999): 42–50; Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States from the 1960s to the 1990s (1986; New York: Routledge, 1994), 14. 7. Vecoli, “Comment,” 118–19. 8. Sanchez, “Race, Nation, and Culture,” 68. 9. Daryl J. Maeda, Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 50–70. 10. Donna Gabaccia, “Comment: Ins and Outs: Who Is an Immigration Historian?,” Journal of American Ethnic History 18, no. 4 (Summer 1999): 126; Rudolph J. Vecoli,

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“Contadini in Chicago: A Critique of The Uprooted,” Journal of American History 51, no. 3 (December 1964), 404–17. Sánchez also cites this as a key early criticism of Handlin in Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900–1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 5. 11. Gjerde, “New Growth on Old Vines,” 48. 12. Vecoli, “Comment,” 118. 13. Sánchez, Becoming Mexican American, 11–13, 129–70, 253–69. 14. Omi and Winant, Racial Formation. See also Daniel Martinez HoSang, Oneka LaBen- nett, and Laura Pulido, eds., Racial Formation in the Twenty- First Century (Berkeley: Uni- versity of California Press, 2012). 15. Donna Gabaccia, “Do We Still Need Immigration History?,” Polish American Studies 55, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 54–55. 16. Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo- Saxonism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981); David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836–1986 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987); Neil Foley, The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). See also the work of historical sociologist Tomás Almaguer along these lines: Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). 17. Sanchez, “Race, Nation, and Culture,” 69; David Roediger, Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (New York: Verso, 1991). Other whiteness studies scholars from this period include Ruth Frankenberg, White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1993); Theodore Allen, The Invention of the White Race (New York: Verso, 1994); Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White (New York: Routledge, 1995); Karen Brodkin, How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says about Race in America (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998). Matthew Frye Jacobson’s study presents whiteness as formed not only through blackness, but also through other racial interactions. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998). These studies were followed by a second wave of whiteness studies critiquing some of the assumptions about white racial otherness prior to the mid- twentieth century. See, for example, Thomas Guglielmo, White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890–1945 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2004); Eric Goldstein, Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006). 18. Sanchez, “Race, Nation, and Culture,” 69. 19. Philip J. Deloria, Playing Indian (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999); Alan Trachtenberg, Shades of Hiawatha: Staging Indians, Making Americans, 1880–1930 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2004); David Koffman, “The Jew’s Indian: Native Americans in the Jewish Imagination and Experience, 1850–1950” (PhD diss., New York University, 2011). In literature, see Rachel Rubenstein, Members of the Tribe: Native America in the Jewish Imagination (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2010). 20. Roediger, Wages of Whiteness; López, White by Law. 21. Gary Y. Okihiro, “Is Yellow Black or White?,” in Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), 31–63;

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Nazli Kibria, “Not Asian, Black, or White? Reflections on South Asian American Racial Identity,” Amerasia Journal 22, no. 2 (1996): 77–86. 22. Moon- Ho Jung, Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor and Sugar in the Age of Emancipa- tion (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); Eiichiro Azuma, Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2005); Charlotte Brooks, “In the Twilight Zone between Black and White: Japanese American Resettlement and Community in Chicago, 1942–1945,” Journal of Ameri- can History 86, no. 4 (March 2000): 1655–87; Matthew Briones, Jim and Jap Crow: A Cultural History of 1940s Interracial America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012); Scott Kurashige, The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008); Maeda, Chains of Babylon; Ellen Wu, The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014). Similar themes have been explored in cultural and literary studies, such as Vijay Prashad, Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro- Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001); Nitasha Sharma, Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010); Helen Heran Jun, Race for Citizenship: Black Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre- Emancipation to Neoliberal America (New York: NYU Press, 2011); Manan Desai, “Korla Pandit Plays America: Exotica, Racial Performance, and Fantasies of Containment in Cold War Culture,” Journal of Popular Culture 48, no. 4 (2015): 714–30; Grace Wang, Soundtracks of America: Navigating Race through Musical Performance (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015). 23. Tiya Miles, Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro- Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005). See also James Brooks, ed., Con- founding the Color Line: The Indian- Black Experience in North America (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002); Theda Purdue, “Mixed- Blood” Indians: Racial Construction in the Early South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2003). 24. Thomas Guglielmo, “Fighting for Caucasian Rights: Mexicans, Mexican Ameri- cans, and the Transnational Struggle for Civil Rights in World War II Texas,” Journal of American History 92, no. 4 (March 2006): 1212–37. See also Laura Pulido, Black, Brown, Yellow and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); Albert M. Camarillo, “Navigating Segregated Life in America’s Racial Borderhoods, 1910s–1950s,” Journal of American History 100, no. 3 (December 2013): 645–62; Julie M. Weise, Corazón de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015). 25. Natalia Molina has explored the interrelated experiences of Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican Angelenos whose fitness for citizenship was questioned by white public health officials around the turn of the twentieth century. Natalia Molina, Fit to Be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879–1939 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). 26. Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color, 39–40. 27. Erika Lee, At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882–1943 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003); Mae Ngai, Impos- sible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004). 28. Rachel Buff, “The Deportation Terror,” American Quarterly 60, no. 3 (2008), 523–51; Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (Berkeley: University

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of California Press, 2010); Daniel Kanstroom, Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Deirdre M. Moloney, National Insecurities: Immigrants and U.S. Deportation Policy since 1882 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012). 29. William Preston, Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903–1933 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963); Kenyon Zimmer, Against the State: Yid- dish and Italian Anarchism in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015); Camille Guerin- Gonzales, Mexican Workers and American Dreams: Immigration, Repatriation, and California Farm Labor, 1900–1939 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994); Abraham Hoffman, Unwanted Mexican Americans in the Great Depression: Repatriation Pressures, 1929–1939 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1974); Neil Betten and Raymond A. Mohl, “From Discrimination to Repatriation: Mexican Life in Gary, Indiana, during the Great Depression,” Pacific Historical Review 42, no. 3 (1973): 370–88; Sánchez, Becoming Mexican American; George Kiser and David Silverman, “Mexican Repatriation during the Great Depression,” Journal of Mexican American History 3, no. 1 (1973): 139–64. 30. Seema Sohi, Echoes of Mutiny: Race, Surveillance, and Indian Anticolonialism in North America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014), 3, 8. 31. Paul R. Spickard, Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity (New York: Routledge, 2007), xviii–11. 32. Howard Markel and Alexandra Minna Stern, “Which Face? Whose Nation? Immi- gration, Public Health, and the Construction of Disease at America’s Ports and Borders, 1891–1928,” American Behavioral Scientist 42, no. 9 (June/July 1999): 1313–30; Libby Garland, After They Closed the Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921–1965 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014); Erika Lee and Judy Yung, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010). 33. Lee and Yung, Angel Island, 23. See also Erika Lee, At America’s Gates, 251. 34. U.S. Bureau of Immigration, Annual Reports of the Commissioner- General of Immi- gration (Washington, DC: GPO), Table 1 (1905–1908); Table 2 (1909–1912); Table 8 (1913– 1922); Table 6 (1923); Table 72 (1925, 1928–1931); Table 64 (1926); Table 67 (1927); Table 63 (1932). 35. A. W. Brough, Inspector in Charge, New York, to Commissioner of Immigration, Seattle, Wash., August 17, 1927, File 19/1158, Yee Bow and Yee Soon, Chinese Case Files, 1921–1944, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85; National Archives and Records Administration—Northeast Region (New York City). 36. On stowaways, see Annual Reports of the Commissioner- General of Immigration, Table 16B (1908); Table 21 (1909–1921); Table 20 (1922–1924); Table 67 (1925); Table 59 (1926); Table 104 (1927); Table 68 (1928–1931); Table 62 (1932). On sailors, see Annual Reports of the Commissioner- General of Immigration, Table 16A (1907–1908); Table 20 (1909–1920); Table 19 (1921–1924); Table 66 (1925); Table 58 (1926); Tables 62 and 103 (1927); unnumbered tables “Alien Seamen Deserted, etc.,” Annual Report (1928): 12; Annual Report (1929): 13; Annual Report (1930): 19; Annual Report (1931): 32; Annual Report (1932): 25. 37. Appendix III, Digest of Reports of Commissioners and Inspectors in Charge of Districts, Annual Reports of the Commissioner- General of Immigration (1913–1920). 38. Adam Goodman, “Nation of Migrants, Historians of Migration,” Journal of American Ethnic History 34, no. 4 (Summer 2015): 10.

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39. Annual Report of the Commissioner- General of Immigration (1919): 273; Annual Report (1930): 19; Annual Report (1947): 67. 40. John Kuo Wei Tchen, New York before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999); Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013); Maria Elizabeth Del Valle Embry, “Filipinos in Ellis Island,” in Brian D. Joyner, Daniel Wenk, Janet Snyder Matthews, Antoinette J. Lee, and Paul Loether, Heritage Matters, April 30, 2009, U.S. National Park Service Publications and Papers, Paper 65, 41. On detention facilities, see “Germans Ordered to Stay on Ships,” New York Times, February 7, 1917: 4. See also Henry Hastings Curran, Pillar to Post (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1941), 291–96; Gardiner Jackson, “Doak the Deportation Chief,” Nation, March 18, 1931; E. A. Loughran, Assistant Commissioner, Memorandum, June 30, 1954, File 52126–619, Subject and Policy Files, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85, National Archives Building, Washington, DC. 42. Letter from Edward Shaugnessy, District Director, New York, to Walter Downey, Regional Director, General Services Administration, June 18, 1954, File 52126–619, Sub- ject and Policy Files, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85, National Archives Building, Washington, DC. 43. Harry Gem Hoy Lew, Ellis Island Oral History Project, Interview no. 315, Interview by Paul E. Sigrist, Jr., May 17, 1993, North American Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories (Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2003), 22. 44. Ibid., 17. 45. Spickard, Almost All Aliens, 11–25. On breaking through the impasse between immi- gration history and ethnic studies described by Sánchez, see also Mae Ngai, “Immigration and Ethnic History,” American History Now, ed. Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr (Philadelphia: American Historical Association, Temple University Press, 2011), 367–68. 46. Michel- Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1995), 19.

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