Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954
Oxford University Press
Today I talked to S. Deborah Kang about her book The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954, published by Oxford University Press in 2017. The INS on the Line explores the history behind Immigration and Naturalization Service throughout the 20th Century, interrogating how this agency was critical to the creation and re-creation of immigration law during this time period. Kang shows that the INS did not just think of itself as a law enforcement agency, but through numerous legal innovations and interpretations, embraced an identity as a lawmaking body responsible for balancing the many competing interests in local, regional, and national geographies.
S. Deborah Kang is an Associate Professor of history at California State University San Marcos. She is currently studing the relationship between law and society on both the United States’ southern and northern borders.
Derek Litvak is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Maryland.
Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park. His dissertation, "The Specter of Black Citizens: Race, Slavery, and Citizenship in the Early United States," examines how citizenship was used to both bolster the institution of slavery and exclude Black Americans from the body politic.