“Sponsored Migration: The State and Puerto Rican Postwar Migration to the United States is an impressively well-researched book that argues that the government of Puerto Rico organized the great migration of the 1950s via multiple interventions into education, travel regulation, and migrant assistance in the United States. Was Puerto Rican migration a domestic phenomenon, or an international one? The thorough analysis of this hybrid case offers an excellent anchor for comparative studies of migration.” —Dr. César Ayala, author of Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History since 1898
Puerto Rico is often left out of conversations on migration and transnationalism within the Latino context. Sponsored Migration: The State and Puerto Rican Postwar Migration to the United States by Edgardo Meléndez seeks to rectify this oversight, serving as a comprehensive study of the factors affecting Puerto Rican migration to the United States from the late 1940s to the 1960s. Examining the consequences of the perceived problem of Puerto Rican overpopulation as well as the cost of U.S. imperialism on the lives of Puerto Rican workers, Meléndez scrutinizes Puerto Rican migration in the postwar period as a microcosm of the political history of migration throughout Latin America.
Sponsored Migration places Puerto Rico’s migration policy in its historical context, examining the central role the Puerto Rican government played in encouraging and organizing migration during the postwar period. Meléndez sheds an important new light on the many ways in which the government intervened in the movement of its people: attempting to provide labor to U.S. agriculture, incorporating migrants into places like New York City, seeking to expand the island’s air transportation infrastructure, and even promoting migration in the public school system. One of the first scholars to explore this topic in depth, Meléndez illuminates how migration influenced U.S. and Puerto Rican relations from 1898 onward.
Edgardo Meléndez is Professor of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino studies at Hunter College–CUNY. His previous books include Puerto Rican Government and Politics: A Comprehensive Bibliography, Partidos, política pública y status en Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico en "Patria," and Movimiento anexionista en Puerto Rico.
List of Illustrations
INTRODUCTION Migration in the Periphery of Empire
CHAPTER 1 Puerto Rican Migration and the Colonial State
CHAPTER 2 “Neither Encouraging nor Discouraging”: The Making of Puerto Rico’s Migration Policy
CHAPTER 3 Puerto Ricans as Domestic Workers and the Farm Placement Program
CHAPTER 4 There Ain’t No Buses from San Juan to the Bronx: Postwar Migration and Air Transportation
CHAPTER 5 “Every Puerto Rican a Potential Migrant”: Migrant Education and the English Language Issue
CHAPTER 6 The Beets of Wrath: Migration Policy and Migrant Discontent in Michigan, 1950
CHAPTER 7 Puerto Ricans as Migratory Labor, the State as a Labor Contractor
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