Civil Rights and Immigration: A One-Way Ticket Back to the 1960s

50 S.U. L. Rev. _ (2023)

21 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2023

See all articles by Desiree Barbosa

Desiree Barbosa

Southern University Law Center - Southern University Law Review

Date Written: March 9, 2023


In 1962, the Reverse Freedom Rides were conceived as a means of restoring the declining political influence of the White Citizens’ Council. The White Citizens’ Council, established in 1954, became the most powerful political force in opposition to racial integration. The Council executed a plan to migrate people of color northward on false pretenses of freedom from poverty and social injustice. Six decades later, Venezuelan immigrants face inequality from a government official on the sole basis of a political scheme—two different eras, but likewise familiar oppressions on a class of individuals centered around race and national origin. Running for re-election at the time, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis saw an opportunity to make a political move in transporting non-citizens northward on false pretenses to discredit sanctuary states.

This comment reviews the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment and the historical development of the Civil Rights Movement, Brown v. Board of Education, the Freedom Rides, and the Reverse Freedom Rides of the 1960s. In addition, the comment compares the tactics used by George Spellman in the 1960s to the tactics used in the “Modern-Day Reverse Freedom Ride,” corroborated and organized by Governor DeSantis.

The actions of Governor DeSantis resulted in many constitutional violations. This comment shows how the courts might approach each violation and the likely consequences these immigrants face if not addressed – deportation and imminent persecution. It concludes with suggestions for the court — that the court hold government officials responsible for their actions and safeguard the protections afforded under the Fourteenth Amendment to immigrants seeking asylum.

Keywords: Civil Rights, Immigration, Venezuelan Immigrants, Fourteenth Amendment, Governor Ron DeSantis, Reverse Freedom Rides

JEL Classification: K37

Suggested Citation

Barbosa, Desiree, Civil Rights and Immigration: A One-Way Ticket Back to the 1960s (March 9, 2023). 50 S.U. L. Rev. _ (2023), Available at SSRN: or

Desiree Barbosa (Contact Author)

Southern University Law Center - Southern University Law Review ( email )

2 Roosevelt Steptoe Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
United States

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