notes
Introduction
1. After September 11, 2001, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (ins) was reor-
ganized. It is now called the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (uscis) and
operates under the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. Despite the name
change, in this book I call the agency ‘‘ins’’ because of its popular usage and resonance.
2. I take up post-9/11 South Asian organizational strategies in my 2004 and 2005 work
that documents the disastrous economic and social impact of the street-level ‘‘war on
terror’’ on taxi drivers in New York City. Because 9/11 has unavoidably thrust the
question of immigrant rights into public debates, the new project continues to trace
immigrant-centered framings of rights.
3. An expanding body of interdisciplinary scholarship has taken a transnational ap-
proach to immigrant realities. This approach entails tracing circulations of goods,
people, capital, money, images, and ideas across national borders in order to map new
social and political fields that spill out of nationally enclosed spaces (Abelman and Lie
1995; Appadurai 1993; Basch, Schiller, and Szanton Blanc 1994; Das Gupta 1997;
Espiritu 2003; Grewal and Kaplan 1994; Hondagneu-Sotelo and Avila 1997; Itzigsohn
2000; Portes 1996).
4. My participants often identified as ‘‘queer’’ and talked about the ‘‘queer movement’’ or
‘‘queer politics.’’ They also used the terms ‘‘gay’’ and ‘‘lesbian’’ and referred to the
‘‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender’’ (lgbt) movement. I use ‘‘queer’’ in this book
to discuss salga and masala’s organizing in order to capture the range of non-
normative desires, pleasures, and identities that exceed the homo/hetero binary and
that cannot always be collapsed into ‘‘lgbt.’’
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