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No Man's LandJamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor$
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Cindy Hahamovitch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691102689

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691102689.001.0001

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Guestworkers of the World, Unite!

Guestworkers of the World, Unite!

You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Passport, Your Visa, Your Immigration Status

Chapter (p.12) One Guestworkers of the World, Unite!
No Man's Land

Cindy Hahamovitch

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the first phase of the global history of guestworker programs, which began in the late nineteenth century and lasted until the Great Depression of the 1930s. Before that time, there were no guestworker programs because there were no immigration restrictions. Immigration restrictions led to guestworker programs as states sought to guarantee employers access to the immigrant workers that restrictionists were trying to deny them. Temporary immigration schemes—guestworker programs—were state-brokered compromises designed to placate employers' demands for labor and nativists' demands for restriction. Guestworker programs offered clear-cut distinctions between citizens and noncitizens, natives and aliens, insiders and outsiders, whites and nonwhites. This first phase in the history of guestworker programs thus reveals the essential features of the guestworker programs to come.

Keywords:   guestworker programs, immigration restrictions, nationalism, temporary immigration schemes, immigrant workers, anti-immigrant sentiments, Great Depression

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