Protest of the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Washington, DC, January 29, 2017. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr.
The United States of America, from its emergence as a sovereign nation and the creation and ratification of the Constitution, has been deeply grounded in systemic prejudice on the basis of race, ethnicity, and nationality. United States immigration laws and policies provide numerous examples of this disaccord with the governmental rhetoric of democracy, freedom, and liberty. From the Naturalization Act of 1790 to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, US immigration law and policies from the eighteenth through the twentieth century have formed the basis of racialized understandings of who is and who isn’t supposed to reside in the country and/or become an
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