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November 23, 2009

What I'm Reading: The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Comparative Migrations

When I speak to Jewish audiences about the contemporary politics of immigration, I often lean on the historical parallels between contemporary migrations and Jewish experience of diaspora, in which Jews have so often been the strangers.

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November 16, 2009

What I'm Reading

Refugee's stories have been a large part of my reading since I decided to write down my parents' refugee journey. Of the dozens I've read there are two that I would particularly recommend: German Boy: A Child in War (by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel) and The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (by Kao Kalia Yang).

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October 11, 2009

What I'm Reading: "Honor Killings" - Then and Now, Part I

Many people in Europe and North America today wrongly believe that murders of daughters or wives by their fathers, husbands, or brothers - labeled as "honor killings" - are products of Moslem traditions carried by immigrants into modern, western societies.

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December 4, 2006

Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free?

By Donna R. Gabaccia, Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota

Americans have long associated immigration with the images that Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus? affixed to the pedestal supporting the Statue of Liberty—images of the “tired? and of the “poor? and of “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.?

Historians now dispute whether the immigrants of the past were either tired or particularly poor. Most were working age people, full of energy, and in possession of sufficient cash to pay their own passages, as the truly poor of their times were not. Today, those images of huddled masses seem even less appropriate than they did a century ago.

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September 25, 2006

A Tale of Two Islands

By Erika Lee, associate professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota. IHRC Affiliated Faculty

Ellis Island and Angel Island were both in the news in recent weeks. And the
stories about these two sites where immigrants from around the world were
admitted into the United States tell us a lot about which immigration
histories get remembered and celebrated and which ones do not.

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