join us on facebook likeyoulove
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Imaginary Lines Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930 by Patrick W. Ettinger

Imaginary Lines Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930


Imaginary Lines Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930 by Patrick W. Ettinger

Winner, Southwest Book Award, Border Regional Library Association, 2011 Although popularly conceived as a relatively recent phenomenon, patterns of immigrant smuggling and undocumented entry across American land borders first emerged in the late nineteenth century. Ingenious smugglers and immigrants, long and remote boundary lines, and strong push-and-pull factors created porous borders then, much as they do now. Historian Patrick Ettinger offers the first comprehensive historical study of evolving border enforcement efforts on American land borders at the turn of the twentieth century. He traces the origins of widespread immigrant smuggling and illicit entry on the northern and southern United States borders at a time when English, Irish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Lebanese, Japanese, Greek, and, later, Mexican migrants created various backdoors into the United States. No other work looks so closely at the sweeping, if often ineffectual, innovations in federal border enforcement practices designed to stem these flows. From upstate Maine to Puget Sound, from San Diego to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, federal officials struggled to adapt national immigration policies to challenging local conditions, all the while battling wits with resourceful smugglers and determined immigrants. In effect, the period saw the simultaneous drawing and erasing of the official border, and its gradual articulation and elaboration in the midst of consistently successful efforts to undermine it.

About the Author

PATRICK ETTINGER is Associate Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st December 2009


Patrick W. Ettinger

More books by Patrick W. Ettinger
Author 'Like for Like'


University of Texas Press


256 pages


History of the Americas



I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace