Race (human categorization) - Wikipedia
In the wake of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1965. This new law abolished the national origins quota system and barred racial considerations from expressly entering into decisions about immigrant visas; it also imposed for the first time a ceiling (120,000) on migration from the Western Hemisphere. Immigration from the Western Hemisphere previously had been restricted not through quotas but through vigorous enforcement of the exclusion and deportation grounds. The limitation on Western Hemisphere immigration was part of a compromise to those who feared a drastic upswing in Latin American immigration. Consequently, Congress coupled more generous treatment of those outside the Western Hemisphere with less generous treatment of Latin Americans.
With the demise of the quota system, the racial demographics of the immigration stream changed significantly. Increasing numbers of immigrants of color came to the United States. Not coincidentally, concern with immigration, particularly the race of the immigrants, grew over the coming decades.
Importantly, the abolition of the national origins quota system, though removing blatant discrimination from the immigration laws, failed to cleanse all remnants of racism. Various characteristics of the modern immigration laws, though facially neutral, disparately impact noncitizens of color from developing nations. The 1965 Act replaced the national origins quotas with an across-the-board annual numerical limit of 20,000 immigrants from each nation. This ceiling in operation creates lengthy lines for immigrants from developing nations, such as Mexico, the Philippines, and India, and relatively short, or no, lines for people from most other nations. For example, as of March 1998, fourth-preference immigrant visas (brothers and sisters of adult citizens) were being granted to Philippine nationals who applied in April 1978, compared to October 1987 for virtually all other nations. For third-preference immigrant visas (married sons and daughters of citizens), the applications of Mexican citizens filed in May 1989 were being processed in March 1998, compared to September 1994 for applicants from almost every other nation. Thus, similarly situated persons (e.g., siblings and children of U.S. citizens) may face radically different waits for immigration depending on their country of origin, with accompanying racial impacts.
Other changes to the immigration laws reflect racial concerns. Many have lauded the Refugee Act of 1980, which for the very first time created a general right to apply for asylum in the United States for noncitizens fleeing political and related persecution in their homelands. The Act, however, was motivated in part by a desire to limit the number of Vietnamese refugees accepted by the United States, whom the President had admitted liberally after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The law established numerical limits on refugee admissions and generally restricted the power of the President to admit refugees, with the hope of preventing future mass migrations. Years after Congress passed the law, Vietnamese citizens brought suit charging that the U.S. Government discriminates against them based on nationality in processing visa applications.
Similarly, the immigration laws allow for the exclusion of persons likely to become public charges, an inadmissibility ground given more teeth in 1996 amendments to the immigration laws. The public charge exclusion has a disproportionate effect on noncitizens of color from developing nations.
Passed before the heated immigration debates of the 1990s, the Immigration Act of 1990 reflects congressional concerns with the racial composition of the immigrant stream. The law created a new immigrant visa program that effectively represents affirmative action for white immigrants, a group that benefitted from preferential treatment under the national origins quota system until 1965. Congress, in an ironic twist of political jargon, established the "diversity" visa program, which though facially neutral prefers immigrants from nations populated primarily by white people. As congressional proponents envisioned, many Irish immigrated under the program. Indeed, a transitional diversity program required that forty percent of the visas would be issued to Irish immigrants. In fiscal year 1995, the leading source of immigrants under the permanent diversity visa program was Poland.
In short, the modern immigration laws have disparate racial impacts. As Professor Howard Chang has observed in a related vein, "[n]ativism ... is not merely a shameful feature of our past .... Nativism afflicts our politics today, posing a clear and present danger of new anti-immigrant legislation." The same is true for racial discrimination in the immigration laws. Other examples bring this point home.
1. The War on "Illegal Aliens" a/k/a Mexican Immigrants
Racism in the United States - Wikipedia
In some places around the world, racial hatred is increasing
logical essence of the notion of race is clear. Ideologies are the eyesthrough which people see social reality, the form in which they experience it in their ownconsciousness. The rise of slavery, its growth and dispersal, and its eventual destructionwere central events in American history. The various ideologies in which race was embodiedbecame the form in which this central reality found distorted reflection in people'sconsciousness.
The 'Great Emancipator' and the Issue of Race
17. David Brion Davis has persuasively located the historical moment whenrace assumed this role in the Age of Revolution, and has traced with great subtlety theideological processes through which it did so. See (Ithaca, 1975), passim and esp. pp. 299- 306.