Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Adam Hoschild of the New Yorker links the historical episode of the Palmer Raids to contemporary challenges to citizenship and the rise of denaturalization. After recounting ths tale, in which Emma Goldman features prominently, he writes:
"That morning’s mass deportation had been preceded by a crescendo of anti-immigrant rhetoric that will sound distinctly familiar today. “The surest way to preserve the public against those disciples of destruction,” Thomas Edward Campbell, the governor of Arizona, told a conference of newspaper editors on February 22, 1919, “is to send them back forthwith to lands from which they came.” And if native-born Americans were acting un-American, why not deport them, too? Senator Kenneth McKellar, of Tennessee, suggested that they “be deported permanently to the Island of Guam. And why not go one step further and strip objectionable people of U.S. citizenship, to make them more deportable?"