A History of Exclusion: U.S. Deportation Policy Since 1882

Prerna Lal

Lal Legal

November 28, 2013

Despite immigrant-friendly rhetoric, President Obama has deported more immigrants than any other President in history, with a whooping record of almost 2 million deportations in the past 6 years. This seems quite contrary to America’s self-identity as a nation of immigrants and a beacon for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” While the politics of 9/11 have led to the conflation of immigrants with national security issues, the whooping number of people deported by the son of a Kenyan immigrant can only be fully understood through a legal history of U.S. immigration policy, and specifically, U.S. deportation policy. Quite simply, the gates to the American dream have not always been open to all. Throughout history, U.S. deportation policy has been governed by larger social trends and social mores. In National Insecurities: Immigrants and U.S. Deportation Policy Since 1882, Deirdre Moloney explores the intersection of race, class, gender and religion in constituting United States deportation policy, and contextualizes deportation in the larger social trends of the times, with an emphasis on immigrants and immigration advocacy groups. It is through the social and legal history that Moloney charts that one can begin to understand current immigration policies, which serves to exclude immigrants on the basis of arbitrary crimes, subject immigrants to mandatory detention without procedural due process, punish employers for hiring undocumented immigrants while conducting record numbers of deportations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: immigration reform, deportations, immigrant detention, CIR, national security, immigrants, history

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Date posted: December 3, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Lal, Prerna, A History of Exclusion: U.S. Deportation Policy Since 1882 (November 28, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2360963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2360963

Contact Information

Prerna P Lal (Contact Author)
Lal Legal ( email )
1629 K Street NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States
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