Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

immigration reform


  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    The Right to Have Rights Beyond Citizenship

    ¡Ya Es Hora! March & Rally for Immigration Reform. Via Flickr.The big immigration debate is finally happening. The grand bargain will likely include a path to citizenship for “illegal” immigrants and tightened border security. What will remain unchanged in whatever deal is struck between Democrats and Republicans is the idea that citizenship is the prerequisite for rights. Citizenship, as political scientist Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951 in The Origins of Totalitarianism, is the “right to have rights.”

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Historians discuss immigration reform on Capitol Hill

    Yesterday, a short distance from the AHA offices, supporters of immigration reform marched on the National Mall, as a bipartisan group of eight senators continue deliberations that have been alternately described as “stuck,” “close,” “virtually complete,” or “about to get serious.” The senators will likely reveal their plan for comprehensive immigration reform, if there is one, today.In response to the flurry of activity on this previously languishing issue, the National History Center, a project of the American Historical Association, sponsored a congressional briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building last Friday. These briefings offer congressional staff and members a historical perspective on issues of current interest. The historians who present at these briefings avoid making recommendations to Congress, but discuss previous paths taken and their outcomes.

  • Originally published 02/06/2013

    What went wrong with immigration reform in 1986?

    "As President Obama and lawmakers from both parties begin to take their first tentative steps toward again rewriting the nation's immigration laws, opponents warn that they are repeating the mistakes of the 1986 act, which failed to solve the problems that it set out to address. Critics contend that the law actually contributed to making the situation worse," the Washington Post reports."An estimated 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants were living in the United States when the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was passed. Now there are upwards of 11 million. And the question of who gets to be an American, far from being settled, has been inflamed."

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    Mae M. Ngai: Reforming Immigration for Good

    Mae M. Ngai, a professor of history and Asian-American studies at Columbia, is the author of “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.”IN Las Vegas yesterday, President Obama made it clear that an overhaul of America’s immigration laws was his top domestic priority. He expressed cautious support for a bipartisan plan by eight senators that would create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in exchange for tougher border enforcement, employment checks and temporary work visas for farmworkers and highly skilled engineers and scientists.Many critical details are still missing, but the general framework is notable for its familiarity. Variations on all of these measures have been tried before, with mixed results. Legalization of the undocumented is humane and practical, but the proposals for controlling future immigration are almost certain to fail.

Subscribe to our mailing list