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“Blood Politics: Reproducing the Children of ‘Others’ in the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act”

“Blood Politics: Reproducing the Children of ‘Others’ in the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act” This article examines the u.s. Congressional debates in 1981 and 1982 over the Amerasian Immigration Act (aia), which provided preferential immigration status for the Amerasians of Southeast Asia. The debates exposed conflict on issues of American identity, race, and nation and the gendered nature of u.s. immigration and citizenship policy. This article considers how lawmakers on both sides of the debate justified accepting the Amerasians as American children or rejecting them as Asian. In each case, lawmakers in the post-Vietnam War era struggled to reconcile the physical appearance of the Amerasians and their racial hybridity with an American national identity. The aia is evidence of the confusion. While the bill defined Amerasians as children of American citizens, it failed to grant them American citizenship. This article argues that although the rhetoric of inclusion and kinship within the aia recognized the Amerasians as children of American fathers, the exclusion of citizenship from the bill formalized their status as the children of “others,” and thus foreign children. Ultimately, the bill exposed the problematic existence of mixed-race populations in the United States, and a history of exclusionary immigration and citizenship policies against people of Asian descent. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of American-East Asian Relations Brill

“Blood Politics: Reproducing the Children of ‘Others’ in the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act”

Journal of American-East Asian Relations , Volume 26 (1): 34 – Feb 13, 2019

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1058-3947
eISSN
1876-5610
DOI
10.1163/18765610-02601001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the u.s. Congressional debates in 1981 and 1982 over the Amerasian Immigration Act (aia), which provided preferential immigration status for the Amerasians of Southeast Asia. The debates exposed conflict on issues of American identity, race, and nation and the gendered nature of u.s. immigration and citizenship policy. This article considers how lawmakers on both sides of the debate justified accepting the Amerasians as American children or rejecting them as Asian. In each case, lawmakers in the post-Vietnam War era struggled to reconcile the physical appearance of the Amerasians and their racial hybridity with an American national identity. The aia is evidence of the confusion. While the bill defined Amerasians as children of American citizens, it failed to grant them American citizenship. This article argues that although the rhetoric of inclusion and kinship within the aia recognized the Amerasians as children of American fathers, the exclusion of citizenship from the bill formalized their status as the children of “others,” and thus foreign children. Ultimately, the bill exposed the problematic existence of mixed-race populations in the United States, and a history of exclusionary immigration and citizenship policies against people of Asian descent.

Journal

Journal of American-East Asian RelationsBrill

Published: Feb 13, 2019

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