Humanizing Immigration: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System (Hardcover)

Humanizing Immigration: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System By Bill Ong Hing Cover Image

Humanizing Immigration: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System (Hardcover)

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“Incisive and compelling, reflecting the painful wisdom and knowledge that Bill Ong Hing has accrued over the course of fifty years . . . ”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

First book to argue that immigrant and refugee rights are part of the fight for racial justice; offers a humanitarian approach to reform and abolition


Representing non-citizens caught up in what he calls the immigration and enforcement “meat grinder”, Bill Ong Hing witnessed their trauma, arriving at this conclusion: migrants should have the right to free movement across borders—and the right to live free of harassment over immigration status.

He cites examples of racial injustices endemic in immigration law and enforcement, from historic courtroom cases to the recent treatment of Haitian migrants. Hing includes histories of Mexican immigration, African migration and the Asian exclusion era, all of which reveal ICE abuse and a history of often forgotten racist immigration laws.

While ultimately arguing for the abolishment of ICE, Hing advocates for change now. With 50 years of law practice and litigation, Hing has represented non-citizens—from gang members to asylum seekers fleeing violence, and from individuals in ICE detention to families at the US southern border seeking refuge.

Hing maps out major reforms to the immigration system, making an urgent call for the adoption of a radical, racial justice lens. Readers will understand the root causes of migration and our country’s culpability in contributing to those causes.
Bill Ong Hing is Professor of Law and Migration Studies at the University of San Francisco, and Professor of Law and Asian American Studies Emeritus, at UC Davis. Previously on the law faculties at Stanford University and Golden Gate University, he founded the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco and directs their Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic. Professor Hing teaches Immigration Law & Policy, Migration Studies, Rebellious Lawyering, and Evidence, is the author of 6 books, and was co-counsel in the US Supreme Court asylum precedent-setting case INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca (1987).

Product Details ISBN: 9780807008027
ISBN-10: 0807008028
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication Date: October 24th, 2023
Pages: 280
Language: English
“By the time they finish the concluding capsule history of US immigration policy’s structural racism, many readers will agree with him. A powerful, cogent indictment.”
Kirkus Reviews

Humanizing Immigration is a stirring call to action, urging readers to act from a place of empathy, not fear.”
Booklist

“Bill Ong Hing rises to [migrants’] defense. And migrants need defenders like him, especially now [...] Hing puts forward a basic truth: winning public understanding of immigration is the only way to decisively defeat anti-immigrant hysteria.”
Jacobin

“Incisive and compelling, reflecting the painful wisdom and knowledge that Bill Ong Hing has accrued over the course of fifty years representing noncitizens ensnared by our profoundly cruel and unjust immigration system.”
—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

Humanizing Immigration is a passionate, clear-eyed, and necessary call for restoring justice and humanity in America’s broken and corrupt immigration system, which has punished and criminalized communities simply seeking a chance to participate in the elusive American dream. Professor Hing uses his lifetime of experience to make a compelling and persuasive case to abolish ICE and to inspire political leaders and organizers to disrupt and reform laws and policies to uplift, instead of demonize, those of us who come from the ‘sh*thole countries.’”
—Wajahat Ali, author of Go Back to Where You Came From

“For anyone who has wondered whether or why we should abolish ICE, this book is a must-read. Long-time immigration lawyer and activist Bill Ong Hing clearly lays out how racism, over-policing, over-enforcement, and the cruel absurdities of immigration law lead to wholly unnecessary human tragedies. With his deep knowledge of the intricacies of the law and its implementation, Hing proposes practical steps toward mitigating the worst of ICE abuses while also making a powerful case for the larger goal of abolition and imagining what a just immigration system could look like.”
—Aviva Chomsky, author of Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal

“Once again, Bill Ong Hing has delivered an insightful and damning critique of the US immigration regime, making clear that deep histories of racialized exclusion continue to ensnare law and life in the United States. Woven together with stories from his frontline work as an attorney, this book is a call to action for meaningful immigration reform.”
—Kelly Lytle Hernández, author of Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands

“An essential read. Bill Ong Hing expertly dissects America’s broken immigration system with authority and aplomb. I trust few people more than him to drive discourse and action around immigrants.”
—Jose Antonio Vargas, author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

Humanizing Immigration uniquely combines a deep analysis of the structural conditions underlying U.S. immigration policy with sensitively-written stories about the lives of those impacted, making this book a treasure for all who care about justice inside schools and beyond."
—Dr. Susan R. Katz, Professor Emerita, International & Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco

"[Hing] offers a blueprint for a different kind of legal engagement in pursuit of abolition and accountability, including the need to creatively collaborate with those outside the law...his book is a call for everyone, including artists and other cultural producers who are resolutely engaged in the work of disrupting multiple systems of oppression and re-imagining justice and a better, different kind of future for everyone."
—Dr. Susette S. Min, Ethnic Studies Professor, UC Davis

“Drawing from decades of experience as an immigration lawyer and legal scholar, Professor Bill Hing provides a compelling abolitionist perspective on the system of U.S. immigration law and its institutional apparatus. With great expertise and eloquence, Hing skillfully shows that reforms in the name of equality and fairness do little to remedy a legal system of punitive governance that is fundamentally rooted in racism and dehumanization."
—Dr. Richard S. Kim, Professor, Asian American Studies, UC Davis

“[Humanizing Immigration] will be a key resource for anyone teaching or researching the politics of immigration in order to advance just solutions for one of the key social and political challenges facing the U.S. today."
—Dr. Kathleen Coll, Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco

"This book reminds mental health practitioners that we must transform our racist and unjust immigration system to heal ourselves, others, and the land. Bill Hing helps us understand the ways in which the direct and structural violence that is perpetrated by immigration enforcement is standing in the way of our personal, interpersonal, and systemic transformation. This book is especially important for mental health practitioners working in the areas of immigration, racial, and intergenerational trauma."
—Dr. Daniela Dominquez, Professor, School of Education, University of San Francisco

“The field of Clinical Psychology should take note of Professor Hing’s incisive arguments and personal accounts of the negative impacts of structural violence from an unjust immigration system and the mental health sequelae that affects children, families, and communities."
—Dr. Dellanira Garcia, Professor, School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco

“A first-hand account of racism and injustice within the US immigration system, based on fifty years of legal representation of non-citizens [that will] be of great interest to political geographers, geographers from other sub-fields working on migration, race and borders."
—Dr. Ilaria Giglioli, Professor, International Studies, University of San Francisco