In the Shadow of Liberty: The Invisible History of Immigrant Detention in the United States

In the Shadow of Liberty

By Ana Raquel Minian. Reveals that the family separation policy in 2018 was only the latest chapter in a saga tracing back to the 1800s—one in which immigrants to the United States have been held without recourse to their constitutional rights. Braids together the stories of four migrants seeking to escape the turmoil of their homelands for the promise of America giving this history a human face. Tells the story of a Central American asylum seeker, a Cuban exile, a European war bride, and a Chinese refugee. Explores how “sites of rightlessness” have evolved, and what their existence has meant for our body politic. Though these “black sites” exist out of view for the average American, their reach extends into all of our lives: the growth of the for-profit prison industry traces its origins to the immigrant detention system, as does the emergence of Guantanamo and the gradual unraveling of the right to bail and the presumption of innocence. Through these narratives, readers see how the changing political climate surrounding immigration has played out in individual lives, and at what cost. Read more.