When Race and Policy Collide
Contemporary Immigration Debates
by Donathan Brown and Amardo Rodriguez
February 2014, 182pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3124-9
$55, £43, 48€, A76
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3125-6
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Immigration policy consists of much more than border security.

Examining actual policy to identify the facts, this book exposes how racially charged political and legal debates over immigration reform in the United States continue to inform our immigration policy.

Immigration reform policies continue to influence domains like housing ordinances, official language laws, mass deportation, and bilingual education, amongst many other topics. In this work, authors Donathan Brown and Amardo Rodriguez demonstrate how immigration policies belie simplistic conversations pertaining to border control. Their focus is on actual policy as opposed to mere headlines and “talking points,” as it is policy and the debates that it produces that inform the headlines and subsequently incite controversy and heated arguments. Each chapter of the book addresses both policies and the fallout they produce to clearly articulate how such policies usurp fact with fiction, producing residual messages that equate “diversity” with destroying our social and political order.

This accessible book provides high school, college, and graduate-level students insight into the laws and lawsuits stemming from current legislation, an understanding of the peculiar racial dimensions intertwined in these policies and debates, as well as comprehension of immigration reform against the grander backdrop of the growing Latino demographic in the United States. The authors argue that the varying degrees of immigration reform passed by state legislatures throughout the country are based on thinking that ignores the sociopolitical and cultural realities of modern-day America and continue to rely less on facts and more on fear, causing greater deep-seated paranoia, distrust, and resentment within our nation.


  • Covers policies pertaining to immigrants and immigration reform and relates these policies to associated topics such as language, bilingual education, housing, borders, and voting rights
  • Provides immigration policy analyses that are engaging and accessible to a wide range of readers
  • Examines past policy actions as well as findings from recent case studies, allowing readers to grasp the specific racial dimensions intertwined in these controversial policies and debates
Donathan Brown, PhD, is assistant professor and editor of Journal of Race and Policy in the Department of Communication Studies at Ithaca College. His published works on race and public policy have appeared in numerous outlets, including Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies, International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, and Communication Law Review, amongst others.

Amardo Rodriguez, PhD, is professor and book review editor for Journal of Race and Policy in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. Rodriguez is the author of eight other books and dozens of journal articles.


"When Race and Policy Collide is a sweeping view of the current U.S. immigration debate that integrates contemporary work on identity, rhetoric, and public policy. It provides a sophisticated understanding of the current policy stalemates and the surrounding debates. Both well-researched and presented in an engaging way, the book is a must-read for all interested in the politics of immigration policy."—Kenneth J. Meier, Distinguished Professor and the Charles H. Gregory Chair in Liberal Arts in the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University

"As one of the tributaries feeding into the river of critical dialogue on immigration, race, and policy is this masterfully crafted book by Brown and Rodriguez. When Race and Policy Collide extends several of the arguments Charles Ogletree made more than a decade ago about our nation's schizophrenic approach in addressing race and immigration policy. This book provides a refreshing contemporary focus on these topics."—Fred Bonner II, PhD, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education, The Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University

"When Race and Policy Collide is both timely and relevant in terms of national discussions on immigration, particularly given the intricacies of understanding U.S. Supreme Court and other court decisions and the implications for federal, state, and local laws and policies. Brown and Rodriguez explore important topics related to education, language usage, housing, and voting rights—critical areas for protecting immigrant and non-immigrant rights alike, especially for Latina/os in the United States."—Stacey K. Sowards, PhD, Chair, Department of Communication, The University of Texas at El Paso
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