No Human Being Is Illegal with Mae Ngai

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Many Americans take the existence of so-called “illegal immigrants” for granted, whatever their opinion of the matter. But illegality isn’t a property of immigrants; rather, it’s a creation of positive law. And we can only understand how immigrants are declared “illegal” by the government by examining this country’s too-often ignored history of racist and exclusionary immigration politics. Dan’s guest today is Mae Ngai, an historian at Columbia and the author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Thanks to Verso Books. Check out The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale and Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War by Hito Steyerl. And support this podcast with $ at

Topics: Immigration Legal Theory US Politics
Guests: Mae Ngai