In this new episode of the New Books Network podcast, I speak with Donna Doan Anderson about my book, Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless: A Japanese American Diaspora in the Pacific:
Please join me for a public talk sponsored by the American Bar Foundation this Wednesday, February 22 at 12 Noon. I will be discussing the long-term consequences of the Asian exclusion movement that culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court case Ozawa v. United States (1922) on the lives of U.S.-born Asian Americans. The seminar will take place via Zoom. To register, contact Sophie Kofman at email@example.com.
Michael R. Jin
The landmark 1922 Supreme Course case Ozawa v. United States stamped the legal status of immigrants from Japan as “aliens ineligible for citizenship,” bolstering the intense exclusion movement based on the powerful Orientalist representation of Asians as unassimilable foreigners. This movement to police the racial boundaries of citizenship not only excluded Asian immigrants from American citizenry, but also threatened the citizenship rights of U.S.-born Asian Americans. In their concerted effort to strip Asian Americans’ birthright citizenship, leading anti-immigrant agitators deployed the same xenophobic rhetoric to argue that U.S.-born Japanese Americans should be treated as Japanese nationals. Japanese Americans’ struggles to protect the integrity of their birthright citizenship demonstrate that exclusionary legal measures designed to stop the influx of Asians did not simply affect the immigrant generation. Focusing on the experiences of Japanese Americans throughout the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, this talk explores the complex and bizarre consequences of the pervasive anti-Asian xenophobia in the American West that rendered many Americans of Japanese ancestry stateless and subject to legal exclusion as “aliens ineligible for citizens.”
February 19, 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, which followed Ozawa v. United States. This talk honors the history of Asian Americans and their struggle for US citizenship amid pervasive anti-Asian xenophobia in the early twentieth century.
My article, “Voices of the Unredressed: Korean and Nisei A-Bomb Survivors, Structural Legacies of Violence, and Compensatory Justice in the Cold War Pacific,” is featured in the new special issue of the Amerasia Journal, “Cold War Reformations.”
In this essay I explore the historical erasures of Korean and U.S.-born Japanese American (Nisei) survivors of the 1945 atomic bombing. Since 1945, the Korean survivors of Hiroshima have struggled for redress as South Korea has remained a crucial part of the U.S. Cold War nuclear umbrella. As American civilians, the Nisei atomic bomb survivors have also found themselves unrecognized by their country as victims of the U.S. nuclear violence. The struggles of Korean and Nisei A-bomb survivors for historical recognition reveal the colonial, racial, and state violence that remain unredressed in the U.S. “empire for liberty” well into the twenty-first century.
Read more here.