About My Books . . .
Denied, Detained, Deported
· published April 2009
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The Statue of Liberty's welcoming figure is a symbol held dear to Americans. The famous lines from Emma Lazarus's poem: "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me," speak of an unqualified welcome to the land of immigrants. For many, it has been. But not for all. The reality is that U.S. immigration policy, both throughout history and today, has often been more limiting than encompassing, and sometimes it has even been ruled by racism, prejudice, political concerns, and fear.
Immigrants yearning to breathe free have found themselves denied, as when the St. Louis, a ship filled with Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany sought refuge in American ports and was turned away. Immigrants have found themselves detained, as when Japanese Americans during World War II were rounded up and placed in detention centers—regardless of their patriotism—for security reasons. And immigrants have found themselves deported, sometimes for their radical political views, as did Emma Goldman, who after 30 years in the U.S. was sent back to Russia after she was branded a dangerous extremist.
Ann Bausum examines these immigrant stories from history, the stories of the denied, detained, and deported, so that we can learn from past mistakes. Shedding light on the dark side of immigration helps inform one of the most important policy debates of our time. It helps us chart a course that will keep the golden lamp of liberty burning bright.
Poem foreword by Naomi Shihab Nye.
The more I work with history, the more I marvel at the echoes from the past. Sometimes these echoes occur when current events repeat patterns from earlier eras. Sometimes they speak through visits to historic places. One of the places I visited while researching Denied, Detained, Deported was the site of the former Manzanar internment camp in eastern California. In preparation for writing "Detained," the book's fourth chapter, I wanted to visit one of the places where Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.
Each chapter of Denied, Detained, Deported explores a different example of immigration policy gone wrong from our nation's past. Questions raised within each section are intended to help readers connect past events with present debates about immigration. Here are some suggested points of discussion that could be used with the book's five chapters.
In the classroom—Excluded. Use Chapter 1 to study how the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and other immigration policies affected the migration and status of Chinese American immigrants and their descendants. What factors contributed to the development of these restrictions? What led to their lifting? What themes from these debates echo in current events and discussions over immigration reform today?
In the classroom—Deported. Review the story of the Red Scare deportations from Chapter 2 and discuss what factors influenced these deportations. To what extent was policy influenced by fear, public opinion, and politics? Were the deportations justified? How has the U.S. managed similar circumstances in subsequent times of heightened national security concern?
In the classroom—Denied. Use the experiences from Chapter 3 of the Karliner family to imagine their points of view during their experiences. Can you imagine how others felt? What about the ship's captain and crew, the passengers allowed to disembark in Cuba, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and so on? Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel upon leaving your home? How would you handle being separated from other family members? What would you miss the most if you had lost friends or family as a result of the forced return to Europe? If you could have written a letter to President Roosevelt arguing for admission to the U.S., what would you
In the classroom—Detained. Compare the treatment of Arab Americans during the wars of the 21st century with the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II as noted in Chapter 4. How do circumstances from the past (such as prejudice, imprisonment, and patriotism) echo (or not) in current times? What influenced the U.S. government to incarcerate most Japanese Americans during World War II? What influenced the government to avoid a similar reaction following the 9-11 attacks of 2001?
In the classroom—Exploited. Examine through Chapter 5 the cyclical nature of immigration between Mexico and the United States. What historical circumstances help explain today's diverse points of view about immigration reform? Construct a debate representing the perspectives of illegal immigrants, U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants (who therefore have status as U.S. citizens), legal immigrants and their descendants, and voices in favor of limiting or broadening the rights of immigrants. Examine how the word "reform" can be used by each perspective and yet represent different outcomes. Compare these multiple viewpoints using the rubric of economics, prejudice, national security, and patriotism. What role does fear play in those frameworks for analysis?
Author program. Follow this link to find out about an author program related to this book. The program is called "Citizens Detained! And other Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration."
Click other links to read audience feedback about programs and learn how to arrange for Author Visits.
Audio edition in production from Recorded Books
2010 Carter G. Woodson Book Award
National Council for the Social Studies
Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award
Council for Wisconsin Writers
YALSA 2010 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
International Reading Association
Notable Books for a Global Society
International Reading Association
Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council
Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Best of the Best in 2009
Chicago Public Library
"With personal narratives and heartbreaking photographs, this beautifully designed photo-essay connects past immigration issues of economics, racism, national security, and patriotism with what is happening now....Individual chapters look closely at instances of immigration gone wrong....Following these moving profiles, Bausum discusses crucial contemporary problems, including the post-9/11 debate about monitoring Islamic extremists. Throughout, she is passionate about the respect due to illegal immigrants, even as she shows the unions' concern that illegals keep wages low.....A landmark title, sure to spark intense discussion."
—Booklist, starred review
May 1, 2009
"Opening with Emma Lazarus's famous poem, 'The New Colossus,' and a powerful response poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, this volume deals frankly with the more troubling aspects of United States immigration policy. The author chose the stories of three immigrants. Each one stands alone, but read together they show a disturbing trend....Each story explores parallels in the present day. The themes of the three stories are unified by the introduction and conclusion....Photographs throughout will help students relate to the narrative....This book is not intended to cover the entire topic of immigration, but instead focuses solely on instances in which the United States appears to have made mistakes....This is an interesting and readable book, well worth purchasing for any collection."
—School Library Journal, starred review
May 1, 2009
"Emma Lazarus's poem "New Colossus," followed by a new poem by Naomi Shihab Nye...open this compelling look at ways the United States has sometimes rejected, ejected, and exploited individuals wanting to make a home here....Each [chapter] builds on those that come before....The design of [photos] presented is striking....This eye-opening volume offers a critical perspective on policies and attitudes of our nation."
—CCBC Choices, 2010
Angel Island Immigration Station
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Ellis Island database for passenger lists
Emma Goldman online exhibit
Emma Goldman papers
Exploring the Japanese American Internment
Japanese American National Museum
Clara Breed Collection
Museum of Chinese in America
The Peopling of America
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Online exhibit about the "Voyage of the St. Louis"
American Experience: Emma Goldman
PBS: Children of the Camps
Dear Miss Breed, by Joanne Oppenheim, Scholastic, 2006.
Looking Like the Enemy, by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald, NewSage Press, young readers edition, 2011.
Refuge Denied: The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust, by Sarah A. Ogilvie and Scott Miller, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
What could have been a chapter in Denied, Detained, Deported became its own book. Explore the treatment of German-Americans during World War I during this accounting of the era's battle for democracy on the home front.