Suits vs. Skins: Immigration and Race in Men in Black.

Yet as early as 1994, Proposition 187 was passed in California, barring illegal immigrants from receiving basic social services; and in 1996, following the Oklahoma City Bombing, two federal laws were passed that facilitated deportation and expanded the latitude of law enforcement to investigate immigrants' activities in cases of suspected terrorism.1 Although these government actions reveal the anti-immigration disposition of powerful American lawmakers and their constituents, they do not tell the whole story of the place immigrants occupy in the contemporary U.S social formation. It is from this vantage point that I want to examine the 1997 blockbuster Men in Black, reading it not just as the story of an American agency that controls the flow of space aliens on and off planet Earth, but also as an expression of a contemporary American political economy in which the status of immigrants is ideologically linked to the management of African American racial difference.

Main Author: Hicks, Heather J.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2007
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