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Since the passage of harsh new deportation laws in 1996, the United States has deported millions of noncitizens--many undocumented, but many others long-term legal residents with U.S. families--back to their countries of origin. The early Obama administration continued such aggressive deportation policies. But few know that once deportees have been expelled to places like Guatemala, Cambodia, Haiti, and El Salvador, many face severe isolation, alienation, persecution and, sometimes, death. Many may never be able to return.
Daniel Kanstroom--author of the authoritative history of deportation, Deportation Nation--turns his attention in Aftermath to the current U.S. system and deportation's actual effects on individuals, families, U.S. communities, and the countries that must process and repatriate deportees. Addressing various political, social, philosophical and legal issues, Kanstroom considers how deportation works within the "rule of law." He recounts stories of immigrants to highlight what actually happens to them after they are deported. After concluding that the U.S. deportation system remains an anachronistic, ad hoc, legally dubious affair, the book offers specific proposals for a more humane and rational deportation system.