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Summary of the Narrative and the Author’s Arguments

            The author provides a critical assessment of US policy on immigration, allowing readers to evaluate Mexican racial identity and its resultant influence on immigration, legislation, and citizenship. She also plays a vital role in the assessment of border security policies. While such techniques are frequently attributed to repeated surges in anti-immigrant opinions across the country, this book gives a complete look at the racial narratives that have previously motivated such border enforcement practices. There has been a rampant rise in persecution of Mexican immigrants, growing imprisonment of unauthorized persons, and immigration deaths along the US-Mexico border. For the purpose of recording the ancient concepts of ethnicity that persist to condemn Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants today, the author gives an introductory chapter that introduces the terms immigration system and racial narratives.

            The author approaches the subject from a constructive, interpersonal, and historical standpoint. She sees the notion of race as being established by intellectuals, who often base their opinions on racial purity theory. Additionally, Molina sees Mexican-Americans’ status as inextricably related to the destiny of other ethnic groups. By essence, presenting an explanation of their essential ties is the only way to make their history understandable. Finally, the author writes her critique from a historical standpoint.

The author discusses Mexican repatriation and deportability. Molina starts by discussing medical racial discrimination and classification of immigrants as being at risk of becoming a public charge. She traces the history of this limitation back to the Immigration Act, but most crucially, she emphasizes its link to the creation of a fear culture. She describes how sickness amplifies the discourse of hatred, fear, and blame directed towards undesirables, providing a rationale for monitoring, regulation, and segregation.

Discussion on Race and other Topics

This book is divided into two sections. Firstly, the author investigates how Mexicans were subjugated to a shifting racial category, spanning from “white people” to “Indians,” with the goal of slowing or even blocking their legalization. To regulate immigration of Mexicans and hinder their access to naturalization, the ruling classes endorsing restrictions on their entry in the south of the country depended on their intricate ethnic makeup, considered legally “white,” the primary requirement for acquiring U.S. citizenship, but with facial characteristics comparable to Indian people and ancestral descendent dating back to African people.

The other section of the book demonstrates how the American officials’ adaptable mentality persisted during, this period through the intensification of repatriation measures for Mexican Immigrants as well as efforts to make the low-skilled labor a more transient group. Across legitimizing the expulsion of Mexican immigrants to the border, authorities commonly relied on evaluations of illnesses deemed hazardous to the Americans. These methods resulted in “Operation Wetback,” that resulted in the wholesale expulsion of immigrants, resulting in a societal environment of exclusion, isolation, and perpetual anxiety associated with unclear status. The Mexicans were branded as a deviant, dangerous people unable to fit into mainstream society was fostered by the United States’ persistent racialization of them.

            Such an historical review enables Molina to demonstrate how opposing forces, some based on economic requirements and aiding the sustained advent of Mexican immigrants, and others based on identity, social, biological eligibility requirements and condemning their advent, have molded the United states fantasy and social imagery over time. In essence, Molina blames racial narratives imposed, disseminated, and reinforced by prominent intellectuals for the bad impression of Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans.

            Further, Molina explores the implementation of Operation Wetback in Arizona and California in this chapter five, which focuses on deportability in the urban environment. The goal of this intergovernmental endeavor was to stop Mexican workers from migrating to the United States. Officers from the Border Patrol were tasked with locating, processing, and deporting Immigrants.

Author’s Point of View on Race

The concept of race has not lasted over human history. Rather, it was a phrase coined by white oppressors to legitimize the oppression of “lesser people.” The concept of race did not exist throughout human history; it was a phrase coined by white oppressors to excuse the slavery of African people. The word is used currently to continue to oppress minorities and to make white people appear superior.  The goal of race was to explain why certain individuals may be denied their given inherent rights. According to the author, the terminology used to create racial classifications in U.S. immigration policy continues to influence how Mexicans are perceived in this nation. The current system still associates this group with lawlessness. Molina’s description of the phrase racial script is comprehensive, providing the reader with several areas for debate and study. Moreover, her analysis of racism’s interrelated character allows readers to comprehend how the Mexican Immigrant story ties to those of other ethnicities. Molina suggests that the analysis of immigration use a social instead of a comparative perspective since this helps us to find connections across communities of color.

In the aftermath of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, white supremacist language was utilized to render Mexicans unqualified for naturalization in the United States. Molina demonstrates the racial hierarchy that classified Mexicans as non – whites by using historical materials like as editorials, judicial judgements, and statements from different nativist parties.

What surprised me about the Book

            The fact that the terminology used to create racial classifications in U.S. immigration policy continues to influence how Mexicans are perceived in this nation. Despite the fact the Declaration of Independence states that all people are equal and that no one is above the law, the United States Constitution denies minorities essential human rights including life, freedom, and happiness. The dividing line had been established. The color of one’s skin became a clear sign of how race will be regarded in future American culture.

Furthermore, the author’s demonstration of how discussions over immigration policy, as well as naturalization and the entitlement to citizenship by birth, led to the creation of an unfriendly and prejudiced societal atmosphere toward Mexicans. Mexican immigrants became the target of uncompassionate ideologies and actions fostered by white nationalistic concerns, rather than being absorbed into the American mainstream.

Additionally, I also noted that Ethnic narratives persist as cultural representations which impact way we perceive, feel, and conceive race, including its cognitive component. Cultural depictions may or may not depend on stereotyping, but when they do, projections frequently are based on certain preconceptions, real or perceived that have become more and more ordinary that we allude to them as good judgement.

What I will Remember Six Months from now about this Book

            The book’s discussion on the effective opportunity to consider the motives for the sustained social stigma of Mexican in the United States is a point to remember. This particularly happened at the beginning of a twenty-first century characterized by the extremism of state statutes, such as those in Arizona and Alabama, allowing racial bias to be used to unreasonably arrest anyone. Furthermore, the author’s extensive explanation of the background of Mexicans’ eligibility to US citizenship encourages readers to associate her suggested framework with the issue over “anchor babies.”

One may understand the links in racial thought and the interconnection between different sections by examining how ethnocultural groupings joined the racial discourse of the United States within the same time. Only by looking at ethnicity in connection to other races can we better comprehend why and how Mexicans were classified as whites though as a distinct race. The method of racial identity generally might be more essential than the individual’s identity, and apparently implausible antiracist partnerships can arise when communities see a similarity within others’ cumulative racial – ethnic events and their own.


  1. Regarding your book, “How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts,” Do you think it has made any impact on how individuals perceive immigrants? 
  2. What inspired you to write the book, and what challenges did you face? 


            The author explores diverse experiences that demonstrate the complicated dynamics that shaped race in American history. Recognizing the interactive nature of race and revealing the ties maintained through the implementation of racialized scripts moves us closer to terminating these scripts and, in turn, contesting the prevailing ideologies and political systems they serve. A clearer grasp of race’s interrelated aspect also offers communities with a paradigm and commonality for acknowledging the ways in which their history and futures are intertwined.
























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