Before 1882, the U.S. federal government had never formally deported anyone, but that year an act of Congress made Chinese workers the first group of immigrants eligible for deportation. Over the next forty years, lawmakers and judges expanded deportable categories to include prostitutes, anarchists, the sick, and various kinds of criminals. The history of that lengthening list shaped the policy options U.S. citizens continue to live with into the present.
Deportation covers the uncertain beginnings of American deportation policy and recounts the halting and uncoordinated steps that were taken as it emerged from piecemeal actions in Congress and courtrooms across the country to become an established national policy by the 1920s. Usually viewed from within the nation, deportation policy also plays a part in geopolitics; deportees, after all, have to be sent somewhere. Studying deportations out of the United States as well as the deportation of U.S. citizens back to the United States from abroad, Torrie Hester illustrates that U.S. policy makers were part of a global trend that saw officials from nations around the world either revise older immigrant removal policies or create new ones.
A history of immigration policy in the United States and the world, Deportation chronicles the unsystematic emergence of what has become an internationally recognized legal doctrine, the far-reaching impact of which has forever altered what it means to be an immigrant and a citizen.
""[A] meticulous and timely monograph [that] traces the roots of the contemporary deportation regime back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries . . . . Hester's insights into the inner workings and geopolitics of deportation make an important contribution to our understanding of the history of immigration policy.""—Journal of American History
""Deportation takes seriously the diplomatic requirements of a modern deportation system, and in fact, contextualizes the rise of the American deportation regime within a broader international transition from expulsion to deportation under the modern nation-state systems of documentation and international law. . . . Hester's work could hardly be more timely or important.""—Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
""In this engaging and timely book, Hester examines the historical evolution of deportation policy in the US. Through archival research and historical policy analysis, the author considers the power of deportation, the national and international policies created to administer this power, and the changing meaning of deportability...As nations around the world confront the current global migration crisis, readers will surely appreciate the author’s explanations of the long-term causes and consequences of deportation policies. Deportation makes a fine contribution to our understanding of these issues.""—Choice
""Through impressive research and detailed analysis, Torrie Hester shows how the early history of deportation law and policy contributed to the world in which we now live. The author successfully shows how the incremental creation of acceptable grounds for deportation reflected an agenda of racialized nation building-an issue that is often raised in critique of the mass deportations of our own times.""—Donna Gabaccia, University of Toronto
""Deportation: The Origins of U.S. Policy is a tour-de-force of U.S. policy history, detailing how deportation was born as a lawful practice in the late nineteenth century and tracking its steady expansion into the twentieth century. Moreover, it follows the story beyond U.S. borders to examine the world in which U.S. immigration was made. It is a timely and urgent work.""—Kelly Lytle Hernandez, University of California, Los Angeles