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Talent for Citizenship and the American Dream: the USA as Outlier in the Global Race for Talent

  • Yolande Pottie-ShermanEmail author
Article
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Abstract

The failed 2007 US Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA) included a “points-based system,” a proposal to shift toward supply-driven, merit-based selection. In an intensely polemic environment, this largely Republican initiative was opposed strongly by Democrats who argued that skill-based selection would weaken the traditional moral foundation of the USA, enshrined in its policy of family reunification. Through critical discourse analysis of policy documents and political rhetoric on the floor of the Senate during the CIRA debate, I explore the complexity of the relationship between neoliberalism, race, and immigration policy in the USA. I argue that the points-based system, which would severely disadvantage immigrants from the global south, became a foil for talk about Latino migration. The CIRA debate demonstrates the conflict in the USA between a need for (unskilled) labor and a nation-building project that excludes Latino migrants.

Keywords

Neoliberalism Immigration Race Illegality US Nation building 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank Audrey Kobayashi for her contribution to the ideas expressed here, as well as the anonymous reviewers and Dan Hiebert for their helpful comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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