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S. Deborah Kang (United States)

June 2015 - May 2020

Deborah Kang received her B.A. from the College Scholar Program at Cornell University, an M.A. from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at U.C. Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in United States History from U.C. Berkeley. She is currently an associate professor in the History Department at California State University, San Marcos. Her research focuses on both the historical and contemporary aspects of U.S. immigration policy.

Her first book, The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954 traces the history of U.S. immigration agencies on the U.S.-Mexico border and earned six awards and accolades, including the Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Theodore Saloutos Book Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize, the W. Turrentine Jackson Award from the Western History Association, and the Americo Paredes Book Award for Best Nonfiction Book on Chicana/o, Mexican American, and/or Latina/o studies. The book was also named a Finalist for the Weber-Clements Book Prize by the Western History Association.

Her second book is a history of U.S. immigration legalization policies from the early twentieth century to the present.  For the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at U.C. San Diego, she has also been preparing working papers and policy briefs on the recent immigration enforcement policies issued by the Trump administration.  Her work has been supported by research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Huntington Library, and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies

Kang is current completing several research projects pertaining to the history of the North American borderlands, including a comparative history of border enforcement practices along the Canadian and Mexican borders and a history of capitalism in North America.