Books for changing the world
No One is Illegal (Updated Edition)
Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border
No One Is Illegal convincingly debunks the leading ideas behind the often-violent right-wing backlash against immigrants.

Countering the chorus of anti-immigrant voices that have grown increasingly loud in the current political moment, No One is Illegal exposes the racism of anti-immigration vigilantes and puts a human face on the immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border to work in the United States.

This second edition has a new introduction to frame the analysis of the struggle for immigrant rights and the roots of the backlash.

Justin Akers Chacón is the author of the forthcoming Radicals in the Barrio: Magonistas, Socialists, Wobblies, and Communists in the Mexican American Working Class.

Mike Davis is the author many books, including The Ecology of Fear and Planet of Slums.

p class="p1">Contents


Preface to the 2018 Edition: Trump and the Failure

of Neoliberal Immigration Reform vii

Preface xix

Part I: “What Is a Vigilante Man?” White Violence in Calfornia History


Mike Davis

Introduction 3


1. Pinkertons, Klansmen, and Vigilantes 7

2. White Savages 13

3. Yellow Peril 19

4. “Swat a Jap” 25

5. The Anti-Filipino Riots 31

6. The IWW versus the KKK 35

7. I n Dubious Battle 45

8. Thank the Vigilantes 51

9. The Zoot Suit Wars 63

10. Beating the UFW 69

11. The Last Vigilantes 75

Part II: Mexico: Caught in the Web of U.S. Empire


Justin Akers Chacón

Introduction 81


12. Conquest Sets the Stage 91

13. Neoliberalism Consumes the “Mexican Miracle” 101

14. From the Maquiladoras to NAFTA: Profiting from Borders 107

Part III: Mexican Workers: The “Other” American Working Class


15. Mexican Workers to the Rescue 117

16. Segregated Workers: Class Struggle in the Fields 123

17. The Bracero Program: A Twentieth-Century Caste System 131

18. Poverty in the Fields: Legacy of the Bracero Program 141

19. Immigrant Workers Continue to Build America 147


Part IV: The War on Immigrants


20. Immigration Policy as a Means to Control Labor 165

21. The Race and Class Construction

of Immigration Restrictions 173

22. Constructing the “Illegal” Mexican Worker: Racism and Mexican Labor 183

23. Immigration Double Standards 189

24. Militarizing the Border: Death Warrant for Migrant Workers 193

25. Inventing an Invisible Enemy:

September 11 and the War on Immigrants 207

26. The Bipartisan Segregationists of Labor 219

27. The Right Wing Calls the Shots 229

28. Terrorists on the Border: The Minutemen Stalk Their Prey 241


Part V: ¡Queremos un Mundo Sin Fronteras!


29. Human Rights Activists Confront the Far Right 253

30. Unions and Immigrant Workers 259

31. Making Borders History 269

32. A New Civil Rights Movement 279

33. Mass Mobilization Defeats Sensenbrenner-King

(HR 4437) 287

34. State Repression of Immigrant Workers 293

35. The Immigrant Rights Movement at the Polls 305

36. The Arizona Laboratory and SB 1070 319

37. S . 744: The Degeneration

of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” 329

38. Immigrant Rights at a Crossroads 341


Notes 359

Index 404

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Other books by Justin Akers Chacón and Mike Davis

  • Radicals in the Barrio

    A ground-breaking history of the radical political movements that developed within the Mexican and Chicano working-class in the United States.
  • Be Realistic

    Mike Davis delivers a brilliant defense of the Occupy movement and offers pragmatic advice to the 99%.
  • Nadie es ilegal

    No One Is Illegal debunks the leading ideas behind the often-violent rightwing backlash against immigrants.
  • In Praise of Barbarians

    A bold collection of essays and polemics from the world-renowned social critic Mike Davis.

Other books of interest

  • All Our Relations

    A beautiful and daring vision of political, spiritual, and ecological transformation.
  • Song of the Stubborn One Thousand

    An account of the successful strike by mainly Mexican women workers at the largest plant in Watsonville, California.
  • No Is Not Enough

    “This year's most immediately useful political book.” Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017

  • Citizen Illegal

    Citizen Illegal is a revealing portrait of life as a first generation immigrant, a celebration of Chicano joy, a shout against erasure, and a vibrant re-imagining of Mexican American life.
  • The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4

    Edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, José Olivarez, et al.

    A BreakBeat Poets anthology that opposes silence and re-mixes the soundtrack of the Latinx diaspora across diverse poetic traditions.