As is typical of Salem Press publications each entry follows a similar structure starting with a definition of the topic, a list of the issues related to the topic, its overall significance followed by a discussion of relevant background and salient facts. Many of the essays deal with specific immigrant groups ranging from the earlier European immigrants like Irish, German, and Italian to the more recent arrivals like the Hmong, Nigerian, Haitian, and Pakistani. Of course, there are also numerous entries that cover a variety of subjects from border control to nativism and family issues to racism as well as entries that discuss specific court cases, law enforcement concerns and demographics. As such, specific articles cover topics as diverse as bilingual education, citizenship, the DREAM act, European immigrant literature, Haitian boat people, international adoptions, machine politics, refugee fatigue, and undocumented workers.
Admittedly, in many ways Issues in U.S. Immigration is a compilation. As the editors acknowledge, a number of the essays have been drawn from other Salem Press publications but have been updated for this new edition as necessary. However, 75 of the entries are new to this set as is a 100 page, 41 table section of immigration statistics from the Department of Homeland Security. The essays are written in a style that is accessible to high school students as well as undergraduates while also appealing to the interested layman. The entries are concise and factual ranging in length according to topic relevance. Each has a useful bibliography and “see also” references while a number of black and white illustrations and photos complement the overall text. Access to specific subjects is provided by an alphabetical list of contents, a subject index, and a detailed Category Index of Topics that list entries under one of more of 37 categories. Value-added features include a historic timeline and the 100 page of statistics mentioned above, not to mention a separate section called U.S. State Briefs that consists of entries covering the immigration history and current developments for each state as well as for New York City and Washington D.C. These entries also include a brief statistical profile for the state being discussed. Issues in U.S. Immigration will be a welcome addition to high school and undergraduate collections as well as some public libraries where immigration is a topic of interest. Both upper level high school students and undergraduates will find it valuable as a background source on key issues as well as a useful tool for research paper topic selection. Lay readers will appreciate its brief and fact driven approach when becoming more familiar with topics of personal concern.”
-Against the Grain
“Immigration has been part of the American fabric since its inception. The vast majority of Americans trace their ancestry back to foreign lands, and the American ethos generally embraces the “hyphenated” American citizen. Although America is considered a nation of migrants, not all migrants have always been welcome. Migrants also have unique needs that are not always recognized, much less met, when they first arrive in their adopted countries. This volumes objective is to tell the immigrant story, touching all of its aspects. After the alphabetical entries, there is a state-by-state summary of migration activity. Overall, this is a decent initial reference for those interested in American migrants.”
“[T]his well-designed set is broad in scope and content and deserves a place in high school, public, community college, and many university libraries. Given the great current interest in U.S. immigration issues, these two volumes should help stimulate and support additional research on many, diverse, immigration-related topics.