The racial identity of South Asians has long been a subject of some controversy in the United States. In the early years of the twentieth century, when whiteness, or African ancestry, was a prerequisite for naturalization. American courts vacillated on the question of whether Asian Indians were white or not. In contrast to Mexicans and Armenians, who were deemed white for the purposes of citizenship acquisition, and Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino applicants who were not, the verdict on the racial classification of Indians changed from case to case. American uncertainty over South Asian racial identity has also been mirrored in the Census Bureau's frequent changes in its classification of this group. Over the course of the last century, respondents of South Asian origin have been classified variously as “Hindu”, “White”, “Other”, and “Asian”. respond(ここでの意は「同意する」。南アジア人であることを認める人) South Asian newcomers are not alone, however, in confronting an American racial landscape that at first seems to have no clear place for them. Not only does the diversity of the United States' contemporary immigrant pool ensure a steady influx of people who do not fit easily into the traditional black/white dichotomy, but in the past as well, immigrants tested, stretched and molded the nation's conceptions of racial categories. As Ignatiev has shown, Irish immigrants were not considered white until well after their arrival in the United States, and this was true of other European groups as well. Similarly, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Filipino Americans were not always considered to constitute a pan-ethnic Asian race. But unlike the Irish who have already become white, or the Chinese and Japanese who are now Asian, the racial classification of South Asians in the United States is still in flux. Although they now seem firmly ensconced in the census “Asian” category, this is a recent development and one that came about only after considerable debate. Moreover, several writers have described an uneasy alliance between South Asians and East Asians under the pan-ethnic “Asian” rubric. Finally, other Americans seem unsure as to the racial status of these immigrants. F. James Davis finds evidence that some blacks consider Indians to be black as well, and Rosemary Marangoly George reports a widespread concern among Indian Americans in California over being taken for Mexican or black. More broadly, Nazli Kibria maintains that South Asians are seen as “ambiguous non-whites” in the United States. Defined as “the socio-historical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed”, racial formation is both a macro-level process and the culmination of myriad individual encounters. Given their inchoate racial status, South Asian Americans may offer unusual insight into this process of racial formation.