Synopses & Reviews
In the last fifty years, many barriers to entering this countrythose based on race, language, and national originhave been eliminated. But at the same time, new immigrants have been stripped of their rights by Congress and a public fearful of competing for jobs and public services.
In this timely book, Owen Fiss examines the paradox of such xenophobic treatment within a democracy committed to pluralism. He looks closely at what he calls the major social disability immigrants faceunequal access to employment, education, welfare, and medical careand traces the legal acts and amendments that deny immigrants these rightsrights that are granted, he argues, by the Constitution.
Fiss challenges the courts to invoke the courage they once brought to landmark civil rights cases and apply it now to improve our treatment of immigrants. He argues that it is in the interest of all of uscitizens and citizens-to-beto live up to the promises our Constitution provides. His essay is answered by lawyers, civil rights activists, and leading academics who lend forcefulness to his plea.
This book is essential reading as we continue our national debate on who is entitled to the abundance of America.
"A crucial contribution to a debate about immigration and equality in our prosperous, paranoid times. The fundamental constitutional issues raised by this book should not be ignored and cannot be postponed." Ariel Dorfman, author of Death and the Maiden
NEW DEMOCRACY FORUM A series of short paperback originals exploring creative solutions to our most urgent national concerns. The series editors (for Boston Review), Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, aim to foster politically engaged, intellectually honest, and morally serious debate about fundamental issuesboth on and off the agenda of conventional politics.
About the Author
Owen Fiss is Sterling Professor of Law at Yale University, and author of The Irony of Free Speech. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.Acclaimed Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat is author of The Farming of Bones, Krik? Krak!, and Breath, Eyes, Memory. She lives in New York City.