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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a broad overview of the evolution of the debate concerning unauthorized migration and border control, focusing in particular on the tension and mutual antagonism that has historically existed between those who advocate strict policies of border enforcement and those who, primarily for economic reasons, tend to promote more lenient immigration policies. Particular emphasis is given to the development of U.S. immigration law, the debate over enforcement policy and militarization of the border, historical patterns of economic migration and employment of immigrants, the emergence of various “guest worker” programs and the attendant rise in unauthorized immigration, the demographic effects of ongoing regional and global market integration, and the evolving debate over U.S. citizenship and the role and function of noncitizens in modern society.

Keywords: border enforcement, Bracero Program, citizenship, economic migration, guest workers, immigrant labor, immigration policy, noncitizens, unauthorized migration

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