Image of Helen Thorpe

“Ming Hsu Chen writes with great intelligence and compassion about the frightening reality of attempting to pursue citizenship in a moment when every interaction with the federal government also involves tremendous risk. She brings to life the struggle of recently arrived immigrants who want to integrate more fully into American society, even as federal policy seeks to exclude as many as possible. The complexities of constantly changing and sometimes even contradictory immigration laws are explained and the true predicaments of well-intentioned immigrants who seek only to follow the law to the best of their understanding are illuminated. Chen does a masterful job.”

—Helen Thorpe, author of The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in America

Image of Ian Haney Lopez

“As much critique as corrective vision, Ming Chen’s powerful book brings us revelatory conversations with immigrants seeking to become citizens. Their experiences, frustrations, and dreams shine sharp spotlights on the official barriers they face—and on our shared humanity.”

—Ian F. Haney López, University of California, Berkeley

Image of Hiroshi Mortimora

Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era offers a nuanced analysis of the complex relationship between the legal status of citizenship and real belonging to U.S. society. Drawing on wide-ranging interviews, Ming Chen shows how overemphasizing immigration enforcement undermines the integration of immigrants and their potential to make society more cohesive. This is trail-blazing scholarship on how immigrants become citizens.”

—Hiroshi Motomura, UCLA School of Law

Image of Jennifer Chacon

“Chen makes a compelling case that federal government can and should do more—much more—to integrate its residents by supporting access to citizenship. With a clear-eyed picture of the functional benefits of formal citizenship, this book offers a thoughtful policy roadmap for achieving that goal.”

—Jennifer Chacón, UCLA School of Law

Scholar Stategy Network Policy Brief: How the US Can Support Immigrants En Route to Citizenship

USC Dornsife Equity Research Institute: Making Immigrant Integration the North Star :

Takeshi Akiba, Law and Society Review Book Review

Rose Cuison-Villazor, Rejecting Citizenship, Michigan Law Review

Epilogue for Symposium Issue of Colorado Law Review