The Evolution of United States Immigration Law: Race, Reaction and Capital

Jordan Marcus Smith, Fordham University


The evolution of immigration law in the United States represents a unique history of exclusion based along lines of race, reaction and capital. This history has become all the more relevant in our contemporary age of anti-immigrant rhetoric with new forms of restrictionist legislation being authorized, enacted and proposed for the future. The humanitarian crises that United States immigration policy has engendered in history and as it continues today serve as points of reference and reflection with a more determined humanistic lens. Policies which dehumanize individuals within the “immigrant-as-criminal” rhetorical framework have historically proven to only increase human right’s abuses while building ever-greater infrastructural capacity to arrest, detain, and deport individuals without full citizenship status. This research’s mission is to aid the goal of ending the continued suffering of individuals and families navigating the immense barriers to legal immigration, socio-political influence, and personal agency.

Subject Area

History|Ethnic studies|Law|American history

Recommended Citation

Smith, Jordan Marcus, "The Evolution of United States Immigration Law: Race, Reaction and Capital" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27964255.