Bibliography of General Works on Immigration Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

An annotated bibliography of resources relevant to the study of U.S. immigration.

1.  General Studies
  • Alba, Richard, and Victor Nee. Remaking the Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003. Compares the experiences of immigrants of the late nineteenth century European and East Asian wave of immigrants and the late twentieth century wave of Latin Americans and Asians, and West Indians.
  • Aneesh, A. Virtual Migration: The Programming of Globalization. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006. Defines virtual immigration as the flow of software information to replace actual migration of people. Explores practical and theoretical ramifications of virtual migration.
  • Baron, Dennis. The English-Only Question: An Official Language for Americans? New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991. Traces the history of why the United States has never had an official English-language policy, although immigrants must take an English test. Points out that statehood was generally withheld from territories until their populations contained English-speaking majorities, with the exception of Louisiana. Finds that many immigrants are not being served adequately by American schools and concludes that a constitutional amendment cannot force people to adopt English if they are unwilling or unable to do so.
  • Beasley, Vanessa. Who Belongs in America? Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2006. Asks why early immigrants were lionized as the foundations of American character, while modern immigrants have been demonized as threats to national stability and safety. Also explores how U.S. presidents have dealt with immigration issues.
  • Beck, Roy. The Case Against Immigration. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996. Presents the moral, economic, social, and environmental reasons for advocating the reduction of U.S. immigration back to earlier levels. Argues that America needs substantially fewer than 100,000 immigrants a year.
  • Geyer, Georgia Anne. Americans No More. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996. Exposes practices and policies, some following the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990, “the most comprehensive reform of our immigration laws in sixty-six years,” that demonstrate how far America has strayed from its origins. Most notably, cites the new 1986 citizenship test and the naturalization process, while holding out hope that measures will be taken to preserve the best of the past, the present, and the future.
  • Golab, Caroline. Immigrant Destinations. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1977. Attempts to account for the geographic distribution of immigrants to the United States from 1870 to 1920, the period of their greatest influx. Focuses on Philadelphia and analyzes the forces that accounted for the city’s immigrant population.
  • Hoskin, Marilyn. New Immigrants and Democratic Society: Minority Integration in Western Democracies. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1991. Discusses public opinion about new immigrants as well as economic, social, and political factors associated with immigration.
  • Kennedy, John F. A Nation of Immigrants. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. Traces the history of immigration to the United States and provides a chronology of immigration from 1607 to 1963.
  • Lansford, Jennifer, Kirby Deater-Deckard, and Marc H. Bornstein, eds. Immigrant Families in Contemporary Society. New York: Guilford Press, 2007. Discusses the family circumstances and health of children in immigrant families and their development of ethnic identity and acculturation. Essays on various aspects of educational development among immigrants and the role of law as it affects American concepts viewed differently in other cultures.
  • Levitt, Peggy, and Mary C. Waters, eds. The Changing Face of Home: The Transnational Lives of the Second Generation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2002. The first part of this book addresses the content, meaning, and consequences of transnational practices of the second generation of immigrants. Writers in the second part suggest ways of bridging the transnational divide, and those in the third part analyze the second-generation experience.
  • Long, Robert Emmet, ed. Immigration to the U.S. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1992. Collection of articles addressing issues affecting refugees from the Caribbean, Central America, and Vietnam. Contains a section on immigration policy.
  • Meissner, Doris, Deborah W. Meyers, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and Michael Fix. Immigration and America’s Future: A New Chapter. Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute, 2006. Asks and responds to such questions about immigration as why it is important, what is wrong with policy and practice, how the United States may attract the kinds of immigrants it needs, and how to enforce existing immigration laws.
  • Portes, Alejandro, and Rubén G. Rumbaut. Immigrant America: A Portrait. 2d ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Discusses origins of immigrants and motives for immigrating; continues with patterns of settlement, occupational and economic adaptation, ethnic identity and political participation, mental health and acculturation, and language and education. Concludes with a chapter on immigration and public policy.
  • Riley, Jason L. Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders. New York: Gotham Books, 2008. Offers rebuttals to anti-immigrationists and argues for a practice of regulating cross-border labor flows, rather than stopping them, and maintains that the United States has more to gain than to lose from immigrants seeking better lives.
  • Williamson, Chilton, Jr. The Immigration Mystique: America’s False Conscience. New York: Basic Books, 1996. Develops the thesis that America’s immigration problem is better addressed by insights from moral and religious philosophy, from history and international relations, and from the science of ecology than from economics and politics.
  • Wright, Russell O. The Chronology of Immigration in the United States. London: McFarland, 2008. Traces the chronology of immigration issues from 1607 to 2007. Two appendixes show immigration data by decade and by period and source. Appendixes on key immigration legislation, the bracero program, immigration and population, and eugenics and the Immigration Act of 1924.
2.  Reference Sources
  • Bankston, Carl L., III, and Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo, eds. Immigration in U.S. History. 2 vols. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 2006. Wide-ranging collection of articles on immigration, with particular emphasis on culture and intergroup relations.
  • Bayor, Ronald H. The Columbia Documentary History of Race and Ethnicity in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Documents the history of immigration in the United States. Each of eight chronologically organized chapters provides a survey essay, an annotated bibliography, and a number of source documents.
  • Blake, Barbara. A Guide to Children’s Books About Asian Americans. Hants, England: Scolar Press, 1995. Gives some historical background on the Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Asian Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese. Organizes recommended books according to genre and age or grade. Appendixes provide listings by author, title, culture, genre, and grade level.
  • Fellows, Donald Keith. A Mosaic of Ethnic Minorities. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1972. Historical and cultural background for African American, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, and Puerto Rican immigrants. Discussion of the imprint and future of each of these groups. Review and discussion topics.
  • Hoglund, A. William. Immigrants and Their Children in the United States: A Bibliography of Doctoral Dissertations, 1885-1982. New York: Garland, 1986. Listing of 3,543 dissertations from all disciplines dealing with aspects of immigrants and their children who have come to the United States. An appendix lists another 64 dissertations that treat ethnic groups that came to the United States before 1789. Index of ethnic and nationality groups.
  • Hyman, Paula E., and Deborah Dash Moore. Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols. New York: Routledge, 1997. Biographical sketches of the lives, experiences, and achievements of Jewish women in the United States. Photographs and bibliography.
  • Lee, Kenneth K. Huddled Masses, Muddled Laws: Why Contemporary Immigration Policy Fails to Reflect Public Opinion. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998. Attempt objectively to analyze why United States immigration policy no long reflected public opinion, as it had done before the mid-1960’s.
  • Mageli, Paul D. The Immigrant Experience: An Annotated Bibliography. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 1991. Following entries on general studies, Mageli organizes this bibliography by motives; difficulties of immigration; repatriation and remigration; immigration groups; assimilation and acculturation; issues of the economy, urban ills, education, cultural life, politics, and ethnic conflict; and the immigrant experience as depicted in literature.
3.  Economic Issues
  • Bean, Frank D., and Stephanie Bell-Rose, eds. Immigration and Opportunity: Race, Ethnicity, and Employment in the United States. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1999. Examines the relationship of immigration and race in the United States at the end of the twentieth century. Focuses on labor market and economic implications for African immigrants, though some of the analyses look at other ethnic or racial minorities as well.
  • Borjas, George J. Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy. New York: Basic Books, 1990. Deplores a perceived decline in labor market performance of post-1965 immigrants. Denies the likelihood that immigration law changes can attract immigrants most likely to succeed economically.
  • Fine, Janice. Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream. Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press, 2006. Examines the origins and development of immigrant worker centers, their methods of outreach and recruitment, models of service delivery, and strategies used for raising wages and improving work conditions. Other chapters discuss public policy, and partnerships with government entities to enforce labor laws. Presents an overall assessment of worker centers, identifying weaknesses and strengths. Appendix contains contact list of centers.
  • Hatton, Timothy J., and Jeffrey G. Williamson. The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Following chapters on cycles of immigration, discusses issues of absorption, the labor market, and inequality trends. Extensive bibliography.
  • Jones, Richard C. Ambivalent Journey: U.S. Migration and Economic Mobility in North-Central Mexico. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995. Based on extensive research, questionnaires, and interviews, draws conclusions regarding how immigration to the United States affects the livelihoods of families in Zacatecas, a poor mining and grazing area of central Mexico and Coahuila, a dynamic industrial and agribusiness area in northern Mexico.
  • _______, ed. Immigrants Outside Megalopolis: Ethnic Transformation in the Heartland. New York: Lexington Books, 2008. Focuses on the changing cultural and social geography of immigration. Prior to the 1990’s, immigrants tended to live in large American cities; since then, a major shift toward smaller places has occurred. This book investigates interaction between the creation of new cultural landscapes and the social adjustments that these changes necessitate.
  • Parmet, Robert D. Labor and Immigration in Industrial America. Boston: Twayne, 1981. Following an introductory chapter, Parmet discusses historical attitudes and treatment of certain immigrant groups such as the Chinese, various European groups, and Russians. Looks at the situations of immigrants in specific industries, such as the steel, coal mining, and garment industries. Discusses relationships of various ethnic groups with labor unions. Cites the victory of restrictionism over free immigration.
  • Waldinger, Roger, and Michael I. Lichter. How the Other Half Works: Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. Three sections provide overviews followed by discussion of the nature of work in the low-skill labor segment and how ethnicity affects the social organization of labor; the ways in which social networks and formal hiring practices affects who get jobs; and prejudice, discrimination, and ethnic conflict in the workplace. Addresses the question of competition between immigrant and African American workers.
4.  Ethnicity and Nationality Issues
  • Chiswick, Barry R., ed. Immigration, Language, and Ethnicity: Canada and the United States. Washington, D.C.: AEI Press, 1992. Four sections discuss immigration history and policy, immigrants’ demographic characteristics and earnings, the economics of language, and language, women, and minorities. Each part is followed by commentaries, tables, and notes.
  • Coppa, Frank J., and Thomas J. Curran, eds. The Immigrant Experience in America. Boston: Twayne, 1976. Discusses various aspects of the immigrant experience for German, Norwegian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, African slave, and Asian immigrants. A final chapter treats the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and the conflict over immigration policy during the Truman administration.
  • Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. Traces immigration to America from colonial times to the “century of immigration” between 1820 and 1924, when Europeans, Asians, and French Canadians flocked to the United States. The final section, “Modern Times,” discusses immigration during the Depression and World War II as well as new immigrants from Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, and the Soviet Union who arrived after immigration laws changed.
  • Drachsler, Julius. Democracy and Assimilation: The Blending of Immigrant Heritages in America. Westport, Conn.: Negro Universities Press, 1970. Discusses the impact of World War I and a rise of nationalism in the United States on more than one million immigrants. Argues for a comprehensive immigration law that synthesizes the policies of selection, distribution, and incorporation of immigrant groups. Maintains that the process of Americanization is too one-sided by requiring new immigrants to shed their personalities, rather than adapt American life to themselves and grow in the process.
  • Fuchs, Lawrence H. The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1990. Documents inclusion of white immigrants from various countries and exclusion of Africans, Native Americans, Asians, and Mexicans. Expresses hope for America’s political future as it concerns post-1965 Latin American and Asian immigrants.
  • Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore. Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Discusses the situations of Muslim women in the United States and Canada before and after the September 11, 2001, attack. Suggests that the tensions between Muslims and American society should not be exaggerated. Discusses both the problems encountered and the opportunities that many Muslim women enjoy as they try to define their identities.
  • Min, Pyong Gap, ed. Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1995. Following an overview, identifies issues such as underemployment; underrepresentation in managerial positions and politics; misinterpretation of class homogeneity, ethnic solidarity, family ties, and mental health statistics; and discrimination among Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian Americans. Discusses future prospects of Asian Americans.
  • Olson, James Stuart. The Ethnic Dimension in American History. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979. Part 1, “Colonial Origins,” discusses cultural confrontations between Native Americans and Europeans from 1607 to 1776. Part 2, “American Adolescence” (1776-1890), treats the arrival of British Protestants, Irish Roman Catholics, Dutch, Germans, Scandinavians, French, African Americans, Mexicans, and Chinese. Part 3, “America in Transition” (1877-1945), focuses on the immigration of Mediterranean, eastern European, Russian and other Eastern Orthodox groups, Jewish groups, Mexicans, and Japanese. Part 4, “Conflict and Continuity” (after 1945), looks at issues involving Africans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and members of various religious groups. Discusses impact of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Pedraza, Silvia, and Rubén G. Rumbaut, eds. Origins and Destinies: Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America. New York: Wadsworth, 1996. Introduces historical and contemporary aspects of the subject. Discusses various topics related to color and caste among the African, Latin American, and Asian immigrants; pre-World War I waves of immigrants from northwestern, southern, and eastern Europe; the Civil Rights movement as a watershed; modern waves of Latin American and Asian immigrants; New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, D.C., as urban strongholds for immigrants; and language and racial matters.
  • Reimers, David M. Other Immigrants: The Global Origins of the American People. New York: New York University Press, 2005. Traces the history of immigration to the United States from 1492 to 1940, identifying the countries of origin of Europeans, Africans, and Asians. Treats the history of large numbers of immigrants from new countries who, under new laws, were allowed to come in.
  • Seller, Maxine. To Seek America: A History of Ethnic Life in the United States. New York: Jerome S. Ozer, 1977. Defines ethnicity and discusses its importance. Traces ethnic communities from colonial days in America through the post-World War II era and finds an ethnic revival developing after the war.
  • Simon, Rita James, and Caroline B. Brettell, eds. International Migration: The Female Experience. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Allanheld, 1986. Provides a demographic overview of the international migration of women. Discusses immigrant women and the labor force as well as family adaptation and cultural adjustment. Tables and bibliography.
  • Sowell, Thomas. Migrations and Cultures: A World View. New York: Basic Books, 1996. Looks at migration patterns around the world, then focuses on specific groups: Germans, Japanese, Italians, Chinese, Jews, and Asian Indians.
  • Takaki, Ronald. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989. Traces Asian American presence in the United States. Recalls the hope and optimism of early waves of immigrants, to be replaced during the nineteenth century by a feeling of being strangers used for cheap labor. Discusses discrimination suffered by the Japanese on the United States mainland and the gradual development of ethnic solidarity and enterprise. Records discrimination experienced by Koreans and isolation felt by Asian Indians, Filipinos, and Vietnamese who, as refugees, did not choose to immigrate.
  • Wheeler, Thomas C., ed. The Immigrant Experience: The Anguish of Becoming American. New York: Dial Press, 1971. Chronicles the stories of the joys and sorrows of immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Norway, Puerto Rica, China, England, and Poland. Also has chapters on African American and Jewish immigrants.
5.  Law and Law-Enforcement Issues
  • Andreas, Peter. Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000. Traces the politics and practice of policing the flow of immigrants and drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Cornelius, Wayne A., Philip L. Martin, and James F. Hollifield, eds. Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994. Comparative study of immigration policy and policy outcomes in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Concludes that there are growing similarities among the policies of industrialized, labor-importing countries and that gaps between goals and outcomes of national immigration laws remain wide and are growing wider.
  • Haerens, Margaret, ed. Illegal Immigration. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Considers opposing viewpoints on four issues: how illegal immigration harms America, how fairly the United States treats undocumented immigrants, how the United States should protect its borders, and how the United States should enforce its immigration policies. Also contains a directory of organizations to contact on immigration issues.
  • Maril, Robert Lee. Patrolling Chaos: The U.S. Border Patrol in Deep South Texas. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2004. Offers insights into the border patrol personnel, the immigrants south of the border, the dynamics of the landscape itself, and the implications of certain public and national immigration policies.
  • Motomura, Hiroshi. Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Explores the subject of permanent residency status, focusing on such issues as voting, taxes, and availability of public benefits. Also looks at ways in which lawful immigrants are not equals of U.S. citizens and discusses earlier eras when immigrants could file intent to become citizens.
  • Rudolph, Christopher. National Security and Immigration: Policy Development in the United States and Europe Since 1945. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006. Contrasts national security and immigration issues in the United States with those of Germany, France, and Great Britain; discusses the complex interplay that exists between national security and immigration and how immigration affects the national economy, labor force, wealth, and manpower for defense.
  • Tannedo, Tom. In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security. Nashville, Tenn.: WND Books, 2006. Discusses a perceived weakening of American roots and a broken immigration system. A final section suggests steps for reform and reiterates the necessity for preserving Americans’ national existence.
  • Weissinger, George. Law Enforcement and the INS: A Participant Observation Study of Control Agents. New York: University Press of America, 1996. Using perceptions gleaned from interviews with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) investigators, this study describes the structure of the INS in its social context. Many of the problems identified appear to be related to the fact that the INS was a dual-mandate agency.
  • Williams, Mary E., ed. Immigration: Opposing Viewpoints. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Considers opposing viewpoints on four issues: whether immigration should be restricted, whether immigration is a serious problem, how the United should address illegal immigration, and how U.S. immigration policy should be reformed. Includes a directory of organizations that provide information on these issues.
  • Zolberg, Aristide R. A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006. Traces the history of immigration from a time when immigrants were needed for the economic well-being of the United States to a point of inclusive/exclusive policy. Discusses the security challenges and suggests practical methods for determining who should enter the United States.
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