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Borderline Citizens: The US, Puerto Rico, and the Politics of Colonial Law and Migration, 1998-1948

Faculty Mentor: Robert McGreevey

Student: Eulogio Kyle Romero

During the summer of 2012, I worked under the direction of Dr. Robert McGreevey of the History department. Our MUSE project focused around revising Dr. McGreevey’s book manuscript entitled, Borderline Citizens: The United States, Puerto Rico, and the Politics of Colonial Law and Migration, 1898-1948. Dr. McGreevey’s book is one of the first to examine the historical relationship between U.S. foreign policy and immigration, two traditionally distinct fields of inquiry. Based on archival research in Puerto Rico and the United States, Borderline Citizens is intended to bridge the subfields of U.S. and Latin American history as well as contributing to emerging scholarship on the history of the United States in the World.

My day to day work consisted of locating, analyzing, and annotating relevant pieces of secondary material, including both books and articles. As Dr. McGreevey had already applied nearly all relevant secondary material on Puerto Rico towards the construction of his manuscript, much of the material I analyzed focused on parallel narratives to the history of Puerto Rican immigration; including Native American, Mexican, and Caribbean histories, as well as more broad historical analyses of immigration policy, both foreign and domestic. Dr. McGreevey would then utilize my annotations as a means to decide which secondary sources could contribute to, or contradict, his arguments in Borderline Citizens. The majority of the secondary material was located online or at either the TCNJ or Princeton libraries.

In addition, I was also tasked with tracking down pertinent primary material. For the most part this type of primary research was conducted through Princeton University’s massive collection of newspaper archives. Containing dozens of different publications, many dating back over 100 years, Princeton’s newspaper archive was a vastly helpful source of material. Both the primary and secondary material I analyzed were an enormously helpful resource in contributing to the finalization of Dr. McGreevey’s manuscript.