The introduction traces developments in immigration law and in immigration and border enforcement policies that have resulted in the current heightened state of heated rhetoric about illegal immigration. Cumulatively, these developments are referred to as the era of Operation Gatekeeper, the border enforcement policy at the San Diego–Mexico crossing point that was mirrored in other border cities and that marked the escalation of border militarization. The introduction argues that Latino/a writers have responded by increasingly writing works of fiction, non-fiction, and life narrative that represented the issue of illegal immigration and of undocumented immigrants. Such texts offer counter-narratives that challenge prevailing discourses of immigration, and solicit empathy in order to effect change.
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