In Asian American studies and other academic fields, “immigration” describes a process of movement across national borders, long an important part of our understanding of U.S. social experience. The early twentieth century saw the emergence of immigration as a field of study, as scholars sought to explain large-scale movements and adaptations involved in the peopling of the United States. In recent decades, inquiries extended beyond people’s journeys to and initial encounters in America to also examine issues of ethnicity, community, and processes of “becoming American.” In legal discussion, immigration concerns a related yet different set of matters, specifically those involving citizenship and rights as defined by the state. While Asian American studies scholars have drawn on and engaged all of these approaches to immigration, they have also enriched the field through new paradigms and conceptual terrain that include diasporic and transnational perspectives.

This essay may be found on page 128 of the printed volume.

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