Monday, September 28, 2015

The 50th Anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965


On October 3, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965 into law in a special ceremony steps from the Statue of Liberty. News reports are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the act, which transformed American immigration law. We also are seeing a number of conferences (here, here, here) on the 1965 Act.

A new book analyzing the Immigration Act of 1965 in detail will be released in October.  The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 Legislating a New America edited by my colleagues Gabriel J. Chin and Rose Cuison Villazor includes contributions by Cruz Reynoso, Gabriel J. Chin, Rose Cuison Villazor, Bill Ong Hing, Kevin R. Johnson, Brian Soucek, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Cerissa Salazar Parreñas, Atticus Lee, Valerie Francisco, Robyn Rodriguez, Leticia M. Saucedo, Jeannette Money, Kristina Victor, and Giovanni Peri.


Here is an abstract of the book:

Along with the civil rights and voting rights acts, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 is one of the most important bills of the civil rights era. The Act's political, legal, and demographic impact continues to be felt, yet its legacy is controversial. The 1965 Act was groundbreaking in eliminating the white America immigration policy in place since 1790, ending Asian exclusion, and limiting discrimination against Eastern European Catholics and Jews. At the same time, the Act discriminated against gay men and lesbians, tied refugee status to Cold War political interests, and shattered traditional patterns of Mexican migration, setting the stage for current immigration politics. Drawing from studies in law, political science, anthropology, and economics, this book will be an essential tool for any scholar or student interested in immigration law.

-- The first book devoted to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments

--  Contributions by scholars in law, political science, cultural studies, and economics reflect the modern interdisciplinary approach to immigration studies

--  Places current-day immigration debates in context and provides historically informed policy suggestions


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