Abolishing the Toxic 'Tough-on-Immigration' Paradigm

Harvard Kennedy School Journal of Hispanic Policy, 2019

20 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2019 Last revised: 3 Feb 2020

Date Written: May 17, 2019


This article contextualizes and examines the tough-on-immigration paradigm that has driven both Republican and Democratic immigration policies. First, this article traces the evolution of the sociopolitical construct of the undeserving criminal alien, a non-White person deemed a threat to White free personhood, to demonstrate how this construct legitimizes tough-on-immigration policy prescriptions. Second, the article demonstrates how elected officials since the Reagan administration have crafted immigration policies solely through the tough-on- immigration paradigm as a tactic to obtain political power. Third, this article illustrates how both political parties leading up to the 2020 presidential election continue to preserve the tough-on-immigration paradigm even in opposition to the Trump administration. Finally, the article proposes a new reparative justice paradigm for immigration policy that follows the lead of organizers and those directly impacted in order to address the root causes of human displacement.

Keywords: Tough-on-immigration, immigration, abolish ICE, Trump, deportation, anti-immigrant, civil rights, reparations, 2020 Presidential race, Elections, Hispanic, Latino, Latina, political power, Latinx, abolition,

Suggested Citation

Hernández, Felipe De Jesus, Abolishing the Toxic 'Tough-on-Immigration' Paradigm (May 17, 2019). Harvard Kennedy School Journal of Hispanic Policy, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3444515

Felipe De Jesus Hernández (Contact Author)

Harvard University, Law School, Students ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics