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Migration, Border Control & Race

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The early immigration laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1924, were intended to “to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity.” That is, they were openly racist and aimed at limiting the immigration of non-whites. Immigration was revised in 1952 and then again in 1965. The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act changed the quota system and removed many of the racial barriers that had marked immigration since the 1920s. As social norms changed after the 1960s, open racism became largely unacceptable. As such, openly justifying immigration and border control policy based on race became problematic. As such, the narrative changed from preserving the homogeneity of the United States against the threat of non-whites to the narratives of protecting American jobs and protecting Americans from crimes. After 9/11 a new narrative was added, that of protecting Americans from terrorists. The election of Donald Trump saw the narrative pushed back into the past—while the mainstream narrative is still focused on crime and economics, white nationalists openly express their fears that they will be replaced by non-whites. Sometimes this is dressed up as concerns about culture, but often the white nationalists are honest in their racism. While those ignorant of history might mistake this as something new in American politics, it is a return to the old roots of immigration and border policies. Some would even argue that the core of these polices has never not been racist, that the racism has merely been obscured in varying degrees. It might be objected that while racism might have been a factor in the past, it does not influence current immigration and border policy—the chants and YouTube videos of the white nationalists notwithstanding. After all, some might contend, those pushing for stronger border control and tighter restrictions on immigration argue that their goals are to reduce crime and to protect the. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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