Document Type

Conference paper


The historical purpose of American immigration policy was to provide a haven for those fleeing persecution and those seeking prosperity, as well as to satisfy workforce and frontier-expansion needs. However, a survey of U.S. immigration policy reveals that this historical purpose has been distorted and abandoned, if in fact it ever represented our nation's goal. This essay evaluates and critiques the effect that race and politics have had on immigration policy and enforcement, and on the public opinion that shapes our immigration priorities. This essay specifically questions whether immigration laws are equitably applied, without regard to the race or ethnicity of the immigrant.