In recent years, headlines have been dominated by stories about detention camps, border walls, and rising numbers of deportations. In this program, Adam Goodman of the University of Illinois at Chicago will discuss the history–and devastating human costs–of deportation policy in the United States.
In his new book The Deportation Machine (Princeton UP), Goodman traces the long and troubling history of the US government’s systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants since the late 19th century. Exposing the pervasive roots of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, Goodman examines how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion–from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today–while also recovering stories of immigrants and advocates who fought back against deportation efforts.
Goodman will be joined by Newberry president Daniel Greene for a conversation about the role of deportation in America over the last century.
About the Speakers:
Adam Goodman is an assistant professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program and the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His teaching and research focus on migration history and policy in the United States as well as Mexican and Central American history. His work has been published in academic journals, including the Journal of American Ethnic History, and in news outlets like the Washington Post. He was a scholar-in-residence at the Newberry during the 2019-2020 academic year and has also received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright program. Goodman received his PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Daniel Greene is the President and Librarian of the Newberry. Prior to arriving at the Newberry, Greene curated Americans and the Holocaust, an exhibition that opened in April 2018 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. His book The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity (Indiana University Press, 2011) won the American Jewish Historical Society’s Saul Viener Prize in American Jewish history in 2012. He’s also the co-author of Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (University of Chicago, 2013), which accompanied a co-organized exhibition between the Newberry and the Terra Foundation for American Art. He earned his PhD in history at the University of Chicago.
Host: The Newberry
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About the Book
Constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century. The Deportation Machine traces the long and troubling history of the US government’s systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants over the past 140 years. This provocative, eye-opening book provides needed historical perspective on one of the most pressing social and political issues of our time.
In a sweeping and engaging narrative, Adam Goodman examines how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. He reveals how authorities have singled out Mexicans, nine out of ten of all deportees, and removed most of them not by orders of immigration judges but through coercive administrative procedures and calculated fear campaigns. Goodman uncovers the machine’s three primary mechanisms—formal deportations, “voluntary” departures, and self-deportations—and examines how public officials have used them to purge immigrants from the country and exert control over those who remain. Exposing the pervasive roots of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, The Deportation Machine introduces the politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and ordinary citizens who have pushed for and profited from expulsion.
This revelatory book chronicles the devastating human costs of deportation and the innovative strategies people have adopted to fight against the machine and redefine belonging in ways that transcend citizenship.
Adam Goodman is assistant professor of history and Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Twitter @adamsigoodman