Monday, July 24, 2006

No One Is Ilegal

New from Haymarket Books
Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border
By Mike Davis and Justin Akers Chacón, with photos by Julián Cardona

In No One Is Illegal, Mike Davis and Justin Akers Chacón expose the racism of anti-Immigration vigilantes and put a human face on the immigrants who daily risk their lives to cross the border to work in the United States.

Countering the mounting chorus of anti-immigrant voices, No One Is Illegal debunks the leading ideas behind the often violent right-wing backlash against immigrants, revealing their deep roots in U.S. history, and documents the new civil rights movement that has mounted protests around the country to demand justice and dignity for immigrants. No One is Illegal also features moving, evocative photos from award-winning photographer Julián Cardona.


"The 'immigration debate' suffers from ideologically-induced amnesia. No One is Illegal is brimming with the historical context—and brave analysis —that we need to address the political and above all human crisis of migration. This book arrives not a moment too soon... literally, there are lives on the line."
--Ruben Martinez, author, The New Americans: Seven Families Journey to Another Country"

Is immigration really a 'national crisis'? Chacón and Davis attack the question by revealing the disturbing, centuries-old context for the cross-border working-class, and the resurgence of reactionary anti-immigrant politics and racist vigilante violence. No One Is Illegal powerfully argues that the borders themselves are barriers to imagining real social justice. An urgent, important must-read."
--Jeff Chang, author, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

"[The phrase] `no human being is illegal’ was coined by Bert Corona in the 1960s. Forty years later, Mike Davis and Justin Akers Chacón tell us the real story about the immigrant worker heroes."
--Nativo Lopez, president, Mexican American Political Association


Mike Davis is a historian and author of many books, including City of Quartz and Planet of Slums. Davis teaches in the Department of History at the University of California at Irvine.

Justin Akers Chacón is a professor of U.S. History and Chicano Studies in San Diego, California. He has contributed to the International Socialist Review and the book Immigration: Opposing Viewpoints.

Julián Cardona was born in 1960 in Zacatecas, Mexico, and migrated to the border city of Juárez with his family as a small child. He worked as a technician in the maquiladora industry before becoming a photojournalist in 1993. In 2004, Cardona received a Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.

Haymarket Books is a non-profit, progressive book distributor and publisher, a project of the Center for Economic Research and Social Change.

We believe that activists need to take ideas, history and politics into the many struggles for social justice today. Learning the lessons of past victories as well as defeats can arm a new generation of fighters for a better world.

As Karl Marx said, "The philosophers have merely interpreted the world; the point however is to change it."

We take inspiration and courage from our namesakes, the Haymarket Martyrs, who gave their lives fighting for a better world. Their struggle for the eight hour day in 1886, which gave us May Day, the international workers’ holiday, reminds workers around the world that ordinary people can organize and struggle for their own liberation. These struggles continue today in every corner of the globe–struggles against oppression, exploitation, hunger and poverty.

It was August Spies, one of the Martyrs who was targeted for being an immigrant and an anarchist, who predicted the battles being fought to this day.

"If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labor movement," Spies told the judge, "then hang us. Here you will tread upon a spark, but here, and there, and behind you, and in front of you, and everywhere, the flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out. The ground is on fire upon which you stand."



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