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Time Machine: Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965


Vox's Li Zhou joins Dara and Matt for another spin in the time machine, to talk about the policy that shaped how immigration largely still works in America. They discuss the history and context of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (a.k.a. the Hart-Celler Act), and the previous discriminatory immigration policies that preceded it. Our hosts also discuss how this piece of legislation shaped — and still shapes — the way immigration in America takes place today.


One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965 by Jia Lynn Yang (W.W. Norton; 2021)

"Unintended Consequences of US Immigration Policy: Explaining the Post-1965 Surge from Latin America" by Douglas S Massey and Karen A. Pren (Popul Dev Rev.; 2012)

"Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065: Views of Immigration's Impact on U.S. Society Mixed" (Pew Research Center, 2015)

"Who Was Shut Out? Immigration Quotas, 1925-1927" (GMU/Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1929)

Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America by Mae M. Ngai (Princeton; 2014)

"Why income inequality is growing at the fastest rate among Asian Americans" by Natalie Zhang (CNBC; May 26)

The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee (Simon & Schuster; 2015)


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica

Li Zhou (@liszhou), Politics and policy reporter, Vox


Erikk Geannikis (@erikk38), Producer

Ness Smith-Savedoff, Engineer

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Restaurant delivery apps have made it possible for many of us to order pretty much anything. We want he with the click of a but but at what cost. I'm amygdala post of the latest season of land of the giants, it's called delivery wars and we're going deep, a third party restaurant delivery, companies like doored ash enumerates have changed. The way we eat all episodes are fallow land of it. wherever you get your part from Rico eater. The Vocs media Pakistan in our Jeff bases has rocket, but we have we
What comes out of action, weeds and impacts cast network I met replace he is here today- would prove public as DARE Lynde Box. Tat comes these YO we are going back into the weeds time machine. We are going to talk about the heart seller, immigration, hat of nineteen sixty five. This is very important that been important nation bells since then, and there were important ones before them. But this is leave the legislation that created the conceptual framework that we have been living with for over fifty years and set the stage for a lot of today's immigration debates in some interesting ways as we go further back in time, I think we need more and more contact.
As to what the situation even was its neither we'd sigh machine works at lake. It requires very detailed context, coordinates in order to get us to UR gonna, go its advance Eads. Actually, it's more advanced technology than these billionaires lower earth orbit rocket ships. So our thoughts join me we're going to enter the weeds time machine go to the middle, eighteen, sixty years and the immigration Nationality ACT of nineteen, sixty five Ok, so we can help us understand the big deal right. That's one sentence summary of this is that it repealed the national origin quota system, but like what the hell is that, like what was the pre, hard seller immigration system, that was being reformed here to your point, I think, to proper. If he time machine to nineteen sixty five, we actually have to go all the way back to the nineteen twenties, which is when
national origins, policy is put into place and the reality of the yard, for that law is that it was designed to keep specific groups out and the way that Congress did. That was to set up a quota system that was pegged to the eighteen. Ninety census and the reason they chose that year is because there were more western and northern european immigrants that would come to the: U Dot S Turley er versus southern and eastern european immigrants. Who were the groups that at the time Congress members wanted to limit so the quotas, they sat, we're two percent of the people of nationality that were present in eighteen, ninety and that disproportionately favoured countries like England, Ireland and Germany verses countries like ITALY and the same time that policy also completely barred immigrants from Asia, by saying that anyone who couldn't become naturalised was unable to
the country and that de facto meant that anyone from Asia wouldn't be allowed inside and so that the policy that kind of was established before nineteen sixty five that we're working with, and there are various measures that establish carve out that change it until we get so the nineteen sixties, but that's the foundational, law before nineteen sixty five, a huge resource on this subject is the book one mighty and irresistible tied by Gillian Gang, which goes in you, the struggles and the political dynamics that take place between the nineteen twenties and nineteen sixty five. That lobby to the passage of this immigration law, I wonder what kind of like look backwards from a more now secondary vantage point in the late nineteenth early in eighteen, twenty one, their national origin system is established, setting its actually really important for why his changed posts sixty five and one of the kind of big picture changes to sixty five. Just because a lot of the story there were telling
here is a story of America is obviously one place on the globe. There are many other places from which people can come. Not all people have come in equal numbers to the? U S, flight from all regions of the globe, and so much of the story of immigration policy has been people coming from the wrong parts of the world and so in the pre national origins era. There were the asian exclusions leave you mentioned. Were you no kind of baked in from the end of the nineteenth century, when early immigration panics caused there to be this kind of country by country region by region? Oh, we don't want any people from their coming. That was focused on Asia and the reason that the national Origins quota, as you know, are seen as a way to put anti southern and eastern european races of into american laws, because that was the kind of difference between the eighteen. Ninety in nineteen hundred censuses that were kind of the two on offer at the time that the law is being introduce, but it comes from this kind of assumed
a of anti asian racism where the friar asian exclusions reduced already baked into the law, because the consent we'll framework was that you could assist. Way, even southern and eastern european immigrants. You just have to be very, very careful about that kind of thing, whereas Asians word, kind of other similar bull over and that's gonna become really relevant. When we talk about the kind of post nineteen sixty five world who were talking about here, you know I was looking up on ancestry, dot com, my family tree me, you know- and I have all these great grandparents, Solomon, Bestia, Kate, Goldstein, Abraham jars Gal Newberg Sarah Epstein, you know when they all come to the United States from what is the time, was the russian empire or the Austro hungarian empire. Today, Poland roughly ease european Jews. They all come to the United States in the early
nineteen, zero is or late eighteen. Ninety is an that's typical ride, like it's not a coincidence that I have six eastern european jewish, great grandparents and they all arrived rapidly after eighteen. Ninety and like that's, why it's pegged to eighteen. Ninety there was this huge outflow of people from ITALY, Austria, Hungary and Russia, many of them catholic, most of the rest to it and a lot of disgruntled meant about that and his daughter says I mean this is kind of a halfway house between the like. No chinese people can come here and there, gab, we'd, love more norwegians- that Donald Trump has carried forward was to say we're gonna throttle the number of people from this part of
world who can come without category equally. Excluding them and a big part of the story of reform is that the children and grandchildren of those eighty nine, these nineteen hundreds ever things are much more assimilated right and by the time we're in the nineteen fifty is. There are lots of jewish and catholic voters in the United States. They have elected representatives in Congress. They have a meaningful amount of political clout and especially after the whole costs, are very agitated about these restrictive immigration policies in the United States and are a meaningful lobby. for fear because the immigration wasn't reversed. Essentially by this policy it was essentially to lay right to stop italian and polish and jewish immigrants from becoming an important political constituency in the United States. I want action,
Put it a slightly different way. So much anti immigrant anxiety throughout american history has been the question of a similar ability. Right like there is share baseline understanding among like most immigration, hawks and moderates, you dont want to bring people here to do exactly the same thing. They didn't the old country to be the same people. They were in the old country that there has to be a way in which living here in settling here makes them america- and this is why it's worth always siding with Rachel. Politics is which people are conceptually able to do that. What are the skills and trade Our people to become american, and so, if the logic the national origin system was. We can disrupt this careful, delicate balance of assimilation that we developed in Vila Golden years eighteen seventies, then that succeeded, I, like you, successfully had upward intergenerational mobility of the southern and eastern european emigrants and what they failed to anticipate and, of course, the Holocaust. lose very large here- was that the political ident
He of those second and third generation folks would be tied in to this idea that they were american, but also had an ethnic heritage that was important and vit limiting immigration of people who were it necessarily related to them from their own. Countries of origin was a slap in the face to their own a bit. to claim themselves, is fully american and to give you and to a little more of the context of the nineteen twenty years, it's also at the time when the eugenics movement is really picking up in the? U S. So this ninety twenties laws inextricably linked with the rise of those discriminatory believe in policies- and you actually had the chair of the house immigration many leading
your national Eugenics organization, at the same time. So there is just this huge taken: racism, xenophobia, Anti Semitism, Anti catholic sentiment all bound up into this law into what we were talking about in terms of it actually doing what it meant to do in terms of keeping people that were designated by Congress at the time, I think you saw italian american immigration go from two hundred thousand people per year to four thousand people per year. So this is a really stark kind of stemming the flow of people from these various countries that the law tries to target, and so one thing that I learned short of we charging for the time machine because the kind of potted history this I've gotten was that what we have the national quotas and then policy was kind of frozen for forty years. And then we had this reform, but it would actually like quite a lot of
immigration bills start passing in the forties fifties of various kinds: white, starting with, like as a world war, to measure the repeal the chinese exclusion hacked? Because China is an ally of the United States, but then the national quotas are in fact, so you can't actually emigrate. Well, none else, I'd like clay, this lake explicitly racial triangle, where it's like we're going to repeal the national origins quotas, because China is an ally but were also gonna. Have this global cap on persons of easy headache, descent love to know how the diplomacy with China worked after that doesn't seem like it's a super, effective solution to the ally problem. Why need seems like there's a lot of ping pong anyway, they do their some, this war brides act in nineteen, forty, nine. Senator Mccain from Nevada, makes immigration strip
again in nineteen. Fifty two work: yes Mcferrin Walter. You know for super nerds. If you find yourself looking through the: U S code, dealing with immigration. Now that any of us have spent probably some months of our lives, doing that the baseline the immigration and nationality ACT that we have today, is actually based on the Mccarran and Walter nineteen. Fifty to act, which is funny because Truman vetoed it, and said it was racist and then they passed it over its veto, and those are the bones of this- is that we have today, but then in the very next year after them account Walter ACT. They pass a refugee relief back to let in sixty thousand. The italian seventy thousand. Greeks, like outside the context of the quotas, I mean what you just say: like politics wasn't highly partisan at this point in time: Oh, it's not like the kind of policy see saw us that we have today, but there's this like an active contestation going on right, where there's a big
of cold war. Concerns that, like it's bad, to be excluding refugees from various communist states. There's one or two lions politics as ethnic politics in the United States and then this is continuing push back from people like by Karin who say that immigrants, from Eastern Europe is, can be a source of communist impetus trace in and like all these other kind of bad things, and then we have heart and seller in the fifties. Trying early versions of this reform that eventually comes together the sixtieth. I was struck interviewing some softened by reviewing some stuff, I mean rereading the last chapter of impossible subjects by Romania, which is like the critical taxed on the immigration policy of the EU first half of the twentieth century, leading into sixty five, and I had forgotten how long it took two the policy consensus for the nineteen sixty five bill, because I,
we to twenty first century Congress, where, if it doesn't happen in two years, it's dead and if you really want it to work so she did secretly and then passing a week. They at this entire. But the fact that it took seller is leading hearings in the early in mid nineteen fifty years to kind of law the groundwork for, what's ultimately, going to be a bill that gets passed a decade later doesn't seem like that long when you consider that their work these other kind of bills dealing with discreet parts of the problem what you see in the? U like lead up to heart seller is people dealing with kind of discreet so this issue as they come up right like the rest, the situation in Eastern Europe is terrible after world war, two it seen as a really urgent problems with its foreign policy and lake Cold war. Politics perspective So they can deal with. That is its own thing. You can deal with the project, are ways to unwind the asian exclusion as its own thing, you see this kind of groping tour. words a bigger,
sexual framework, where people are dealing with real no immigration issues and then only kind of in their spare time. Thinking about what is the over all system that we want? What are the kinds of people who we want to have rather than veal or considerations leading the former, which is what you had any institution of the National Origins ACT and what you kind of then get when heart sellers create a system that tackles this whole thing at once, judge we'd, take a break and then talk about what is in the four times can building visitations can be a huge paying if you're, not some with the natural for design can be daunting to clearly convey information beyond just like a handful
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This episode has brought to you by Verizon Verizon small business days are happening this Friday and every Friday this July come in and Verizon's team of train business specialists will give you a complimentary tech evaluation to help jump start your communications, connectivity and security plus limb time offers like a new findings phone. I'm horizon, not a customer, though even help cover the costs to switch. into a participating store on Friday in July for Verizon small business days, five Walter Wide Ban available. Only in parts of select cities- five g nation wide available in twenty seven hundred plus cities offers available would select trade in and business unlimited plan terms apply limited time offer shop in store safely. Okay, so we Obviously, these are big laws
But what do we have? Instead of national origins, court yard renewed? It gets rid of the national origins, quotas completely, and it replaces it perhaps for the eastern and western hemisphere, are still in the eastern hemisphere. The cap is a hundred and two thousand people per year, twenty thousand cap per country and in the western hemisphere it's a hundred and twenty thousand people per year, and that's the first time you actually havoc on the western hemisphere, which is important to remember in terms of how we got to the immigration system that we have today and some of the challenges that we face and then Additionally, what this law lays out is they prioritizes family based immigration as kind of the main way that people are coming to the? U S in addition to high skill Immigration and people who might have refugee status and that's really what we stuck with until now so a lot of the measures that you see and nineteen sixty five have fuelled the kinds of policies that we ve seen grow out since then.
and so what is this sort of me in in a practical sense, in terms of the short term change in immigration. Policy. When did you use that now, instead of people's ability to come being sort of throttled by this old? Eighty, nine Sensors. It's a view our living abroad, and you have relatives who are living in the United States. You can come which had you done that in the thirty is clearly would have opened the doors to a lot of people from southern and Eastern Europe. And I mean I guess there was the intention Was to try to do that primarily that's exactly why they went with the family based approach, because the idea was you know if you're bringing in and when you that's people who are already in the U S, bringing in relatives of theirs. So that's mostly white people from
western and northern Europe bringing in other western in northern Europeans? I think what they didn't expect is that immigrants coming in through some of these other categories that our created, such as the employment, categories would also want to bring in their families, as would be a natural inclination for think anyone going to a new country, but that something that Congress did not predict and so the actually an influx of emigration from Asia which is something that I think Congress. Even the advocates of the law thought was going to happen at the time. This is thing that I knew and as we can tell you, I had forgotten so deeply that I had to ask on two separate occasions. No really really someone had to have thought about the Israelis that simply such a basic conceptual error, but what's happening here, is that this idea, category based. Immigration is novel, and so because their imposing the super structure on the national origin stuff and saying we're not in now, a kind of late origins,
blind framework, its governed by these country halves. Instead of these, like countries specific origin, could we're still selecting for the kind of immigrants we want, but were selected along two tracks for selecting people who we think can, late, because their educated and have skills and therefore can like up mobility themselves and will select people who already have relatives in the United States so that their relatives can be responsible for them responsible culturally for integrating them that late. It won't kind of tip the balance too much and the failure to about the intersection of those makes a lot more sense. When you realize how novel was right, it wasn't just that, like we'd hide forty years before last period of mass immigration. It was that they were actually looking at what would happen when you have both systems operating in tandem, but it does, that this is like one of the great unintended consequences in american legislative history, because you end up with the law that is being passed on the
It is of southern european american ethnic groups, the ends up merrily creating an Asian America that didn't exist prior to nineteen sixty four and to link. This was short of unintended two different levels: White one is that nineteen sixty four is so long after nineteen. Twenty four, that the pool of like close relatives of immigrants from southern and Eastern Europe has like gotten so right and, like also Google, one curtailed immigration before the nineteen twenty four law right, so a bill that had it been enacted twenty five years earlier would have The doors to like lots of brothers and stuff, like that, you know, like you, Can it cousins in our or things like that, like it's much more attenuated. Also, Eastern Europe has been taken over by communists, and it is now very challenging to emigrate from Hungary and Poland and places like that way.
like stolen was not letting people come and take advantage of this. Thanks, also to the extent that a lot of them were Jews, they didn't exist anymore wreck dared dead, our area real already at this point and then economy is growing really rapidly. In ITALY, I can say that they have this phrase for the thirty miraculous years of post war bore to italian economic growth, so the incentive to depart ITALY for the western hemisphere has actually really collapsed relative to, I think, like the head space of people who are like mad about racist from the mid twenty years and then they're not thinking through. I guess what we now call chain migration. wait, there's some examples of people specifically sang the look. We should prioritize family unification because that's going to maintain the ethnic balance in the United States. If we do, it is all work, visas them who knows who's gonna come in, but it's not zero work, visas and the family
pension provision means that once any sort of founding population of people come in, that creates new opportunities. for immigration, and we start seeing their son- and I know exactly how you want to put it. But it's like the flows from different countries ever since then have a kind of weird pattern where they will start really really small, because his very little family migration. But people come to some other category but then it gets bigger and then the more people who were there, the more relatives they have and against bigger again, and then you eventually hit some countries specific limits and stops growing, I mean as far as any of us. No red like this is genuinely not what they were trying to do like this. I'm fun is like says, like agents, will never be more than one percent of the population, and it just is where the impact was really not what the advocates had intended, and one of the reasons is also that they
operating off of faulty information. So, prior to nineteen, sixty five, the quotas for asian countries that were set we're between one hundred to two hundred people and so like you did not have a ton of applications because most people were like. I probably won't, get it. It's not worth it, and it's such a narrow quota so like they were looking at. You know demand from a lot of these countries, but the man was very low, and that was because of the way that the? U dot s immigration system was set up and so operating off of that they're like oh. If we continue with this level, we're going to continue to people under a hundred when that was absolutely not the case when it was opened up, and then I think it's also true that the relative positions of western and asian countries in nineteen sixty five were fundamentally different right because, like role, two in the cold war, had totally reshaped, I'm kind of a conceptual level, you know had meant that there was late morph.
Did he between the? U S in Japan, for example, and that it wouldn't seem as strange to migrate from one of those to the other, but like that runs head. First, into the notion that we are talking about any kind of asian exclusion ACT of undesirable ability. Right like there is really a reckoning because of this, like faulty formation. The assumption is that never the TWAIN shall need rather and anyone actually really saying no mean. Oh people of asian descent can become american, just as easily as everybody else care and leg. The there Never really tackling of this kind of idea on its availability, which you kind of Can you see to day right the particular way in which anti asian racism in the? U S is tied to this idea of foreign, as has persisted even as a lot of people in our at this point, a settled anyone else I think, like I've been talking in Brazil, allegations and leave something that you kind of have pointed out that I am less
That, too, is the fact that this, like doesnt work identically for everybody, right that there are important differences in kind of the groups who I'm here and what their mobility as when they arrive. Can you talk to you a little bit so when you have these categories the family based employment and people who are displaced or refuge, Yes, I think what you ve seen ease I in the decades, since this law has passed, is you have? Groups of people have come over to provide different skills of labour and then you also have large pause refugees who come over after millet. Complex in Asia that the EU has been involved in and so with those two groups, immigration. You actually see massive economic disparities within this group that categorized as Asian America and that's created a problem because I think there perception of asian Americans, you know being very successful doing while having hire me
in incomes than the average median income in the? U S broadly, but that overlooks a lot of people come over in these groups of refugees who actually arguing as well. and who aren't getting the policy support that they need because of the generalization. We make about Asian Americans and policy and also more broadly, in the way that we talk about people I shall want just to get. You know give people some sense of the sort of political context for this vote, way, which is. Obviously this is happening while at the same time as the Civil Rights ACT and the Voting Rights ACT the sort of mean political impetus is coming from catholic and jewish voter. And their representatives in Congress, but I mean, I think, of one reason why you see a stepping away from the sort of hard exclusion evasions is that overt racism is becoming stigmatized in the political system. Right in the sense that you can't do this, and if you look at, I was looking on an vote view, dot, com
the exact breakdown way and the no votes on this are overwhelmingly southern Democrats who vote now a handful of southern Republican. So they were starting to be some of vote no. although most, the newly elected southern Republicans vote. Yes, there's like one no vote from upstate New York, one no vote from Iowa, also apparently too bad. I was a hotbed of anti immigrant politics at this time, They vote no, but otherwise, like throughout the north, and most of the southern Republicans are for so it seems like the Opposition to this is coming from the same place as opposition to this way movement even though the issue and here is not literally related, obviously there is immigration from Africa now, but that doesn't really start coming as well as a short term result of this. and war. So at that level,
The unintended consequences feel more intended than they really were right. That, like there in fact, was angel racial diversification of the United States. Coming from as it has the voting pattern that you'd sort of generally associated with some rights measures of that time, think that's in in one reason, how we sort of like miss remember exactly, but it's kind of like the things the opponents were saying. Can it came true? We just wooden endorse the overall perspective that those people had and on the United States Ray. I mean this gets back to the Cold war pilot save it all right, because the arguments being pushed by proponents of immigration liberalization are pretty explicitly taken directly from the foreign policy argument that civil rights advocates were making, which is that it's a very bad look for the EU to say, we are that offenders. freedom and self determination in the global context and we see
a very different instead of stamping out under communist conformity and then to have this light racial caste system or to have this extremely discriminatory immigration system and like there are obviously like real The concerns of the same sort that you saw the year when we are talking about the world where two changes, but even more broadly there's this conceptual argument of like we can't be a credible superpower. If we don't have these laws at home, and so it's not that lake opponents of immigration liberalization, we're like we don't want a more diverse America was we disagree, the way to fight communism is to become more liberal domestically. We think the way to fight communism is smashup. Some coffee is, you know it's kind of worth tracing this through, because this sort of rhetoric, really, I wouldn't say, has its origins but like comes to the fore so much because of the work of civil rights advocates around world where too, and the double victory campaign and the idea that, in exchange
for demonstrating sufficient patriotism in defence of America in the military that black Americans would be proven. To the world that America lived up to its promise and then proving to Amerika the same thing. This is like a lot The arguments just lifted wholesale from that and what their isn't and you would expect there to be kind it from the perspective of the present is HIV and of solidarity among Non White Americans. This is it an argument. we need to be better to Asian America and to Mexican Americans, etc, etc. You may I've noticed there isn't a whole lot of talk of Mexico at all, which is kind of a thing in its own right, but it also means that the kind of politics have now or immigration is seen as a progressive issue, because it is a people of color She was not at all the way it scene when the nineteen sixty five luggage pass. It's much more,
colorblind racial liberalism that his lifted its rhetoric from black civil rights advocates, but is very much the provenance of New York white liberals. The other context, I think, of the timeframe when its past is that this is following John of Kennedys assassination. This is also following. Just huge democratic majority is getting elected in the house in the Senate, and so the time when Lyndon Johnson is trying to pass through sweeping legislation. That is more precise. including a lot of civil rights bells. You have the Civil Rights ACT, the Voting Rights ACT and immigration and nationality ACT, so these are all kind of part and parcel of a similar mindset, as we ve been talking about it. Let second other bragelonne will submit some of that legacy issues here. hi, I'm a media, I'm a programme manager, Google right now lots of people I'm looking for ways to learn new job skills. That's where we created Google career certificates,
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follow land of the giants wherever you get your part guests from Rico Eater, the Vocs media podcast network. So we ve been talking primarily about the ways in which that sixty five law, liberalize immigration- and I was talking about southern democrats- is the sort of man locus of opposition when it section two that is Henry the dollar's who is from the south and is a Democrat, but he's obviously a mexican American House member. He represents and Tony oh he votes for the civil rights. I t votes for the vote I'd say you votes for the you're Housing ACT p against this behold because in his mind, this is not a liberalizing civil rights, sure this is closing the border between the United States and Mexico and it sounds like fantastical to anyone who paid attention to the immigration politics of the past twenty years, but
during this allegedly restart. in this era of the mid twentieth century. There's no limitation on migration from Latin America, and I talk about. Might my jewish great grandparents and coming before the twenty four law, my other grandparents came from Cuba and they just got on a bow came to temper, and then they lived there and they went back, and then they came back to temper the limo the Cuban, then they went back to tamper and then they stayed there forever other men, but like it, was a totally different situation on the southern border from how we understand it now and the big who was nationalization, which was relatively rare. As I understand it like, there wasn't a lot, people necessarily moving from Mexico into the United States settling here permanently applying for citizenship. But some people dead, I'm in Hamburg dissolves, was in the house
it is, and people were just kind of come and go until we created you know a much more restricted and regulated system with this hard seller law. The I feel like ass, we ve talked about. There is kind, this inherent contradiction to the law where, on the one hand, it opens up access and a huge way to Asia, Africa Eastern Europe and, on the other hand, it sets these limits in place for one of the first times to Mexico and other places on the western hemisphere that that's like kind of the two sides of what the law that made up doing right- and this is another problem where, like what seems like a failure to think about easily predictable consequences is in fact, a legacy of just a lot of, things happening at once, and people not necessarily having good information. I've done like right before or the nineteen sixty five law is passed them you're programme legalizing temper, labour from Mexico, the Polisario programme is ended, and so the politics of that were set,
totally different. They were very much tied in with labour politics and the question of what was best for american workers in the american economy and at the time, the nineteen sixty five Lois Pass. Hadn't been a post Ariel periods of there wasn't really a sense of what the can can you desire for people to come from Mexico to the United States to work would look like when you didn't have a programme in effect, regular rising. That is It meant the end of the browser programme and then the creation of these caps on immigration from Latin America meant that a few things happened. First of all There were note, like all the legal pathways had collapsed. Second of all the ability to do this of circular work based. Migration was somewhat restrict It would get more restricted. Once border enforcement actually became a being in the later decades of the twentieth century, but there was already
built into part of their ways that in work, visas build this dual attracting into the lies that its assumed that, if you're here on a temporary workers that they are not going to settle down here by work, these is required I mean you so many hopes to get and last for a long enough, that its moral likely that someone is going to decide they want to settle when there on a work easier than when they're just kind of like coming up for six months and then going back and, of course, with restrictions. There's a strong incentive to settle in the: U S, and then you get naturalised and bring your family over, rather than continuing to remain as a temporary person, who can only see your family some of the time. So there are just a lot of things that happen at once the result of which is that, while it's not like there was no such thing as unauthorized migration. They're not like. There is no such thing as an authorized. latin american migration. It happened in this very different framework, where the policy solutions were different and much easier, a kind of like quietly
doubtless and where the pole, six of the issue were just very separate like there was unsurprisingly, a whole lot of rhetoric baby prepared many of the nineteen sixty five act rhetoric. Will it super hard for a good Europe? here the emigrant to come through the front door, but all of these criminals can come through the back door very easily. That was kind of the only continent which those shooting We are seeing it as two sides of the same coin, which makes a lot of sense. Rightly, there is actually policy wise, no reason You need to consider the question of who are we allowing to apply for legal status from the rest of the world as the same question is what do we do with the people who can get here? Whether we we have already asked them to or not, and the fact that those to get well did too there is to a certain extent, because the nineteenth. You five law says that they are now part of this you know, like hemisphere, a quota system and that because we ve half the overall
with immigrants that we can have. There is going to have to be a trade off between immigration, Mexico and immigration from Poland do away that didn't exist before. One point that you mention it in passing that I want to highlight is the lack of a meaningful border enforcement in this measure that you know we talk about unintended consequences and the bill both completely alter the light conceptual framework of immigration from Latin America, but it doesn't evince a like seriousness of purpose bout. It right like there's. No like an hears. Our five billion dollars is gonna, stop people from crossing the Mexico border which, as we know, is very long and were now twenty five years into a period of sort of border militarization, but we're twenty five years into that. We're not fifty five percent to grant like they didn't.
that time say like no. We actually want to do things to forcefully prevent people from crossing the border, but they switched from this very casual treatment of it to one we're like knowing. That gives in fact illegal to come to this. You cannot work legally and the thinking I mean I don't know exactly what they were thinking, but obviously part of the thinking. Was it that many people would want to do this right. The absent the percentage programme absent a kind of legal thumbs up, that they're just was not. I mean, after all, their hadn't been restrictions for all this time. The hispanic origin population, the United States, was not particularly high. Then this forty prior years there had been some immigration from Mexico, but like not that much, and so they thought
they were gonna, do said, but obviously, in reality, immigration from exit go to. The United States went up quite dramatically in the period after this law, even though the legal framework became less favourable, I mean it goes to show many things, but like one of them is that there is more to who moves where and when and why, then, what is innocent legal for the longest time we had this up, border. Some people move to sell Texas, but not that many and not to any play. else really and then, like the door, was shut actually more people start to come here, and it is also worth noting in. This is not something that this law touches all that is then kind of tightened, as border enforcement becomes more of a thing. Is that legalization for people who already settled in the United States was just much easier. So when you were about: the unauthorized population, three, nineteen sixty five, you worth talking about transient workers weren't, so
a ton of time in the? U S and so the social problems that that it'd were like gold rush style, social problems like having a bunch of men with attachment to a place in a place at once. They weren't thee things we see today of this extremely settled unauthorized population- because it was fur various reasons that are, like my personal hobbyhorse whole lot easier for somebody who have been living in the? U S for several years, who had family here who had roots here. There were mechanisms in place to say: ok, we're gonna use the existing system. To now say I'm legal, but also at least I understand from talking to people in San Antonio about the situation back in the day. That part of what happens here is that, like the racial context to the United States, swayed and then moving to the United would the two things whether one the government of Texas and denies its general
I was extremely comfortable with the idea of leaving the South taxes latino population in a state of, like total chaos, people weren't like. Ah, this is costing us so much in our school budget, so much as they just warrant providing schooling, but then so people. It was very alarming. The prospect of outside of narrow geographic range to like just go moved a saint Louis weight as a non white person during that the nineteen thirties and forty and fifty is, and so there was a kind of informal social limit that relax saying, as the United States becomes committed to civil rights in its legal dynamic, but also just socially like a more diverse kind of place. and you know it wasn't alike, official immigration policy failing well. If you go someplace, you can be treated like crap by people, because there were super racist, but that was like a real.
About the United States. That served as a kind of patient on moving out of the sin and Tonia we're Grand Valley kind of area, which is what you know. You really see now right, which is letting our immigration to like all kinds of places which often not that well received politically, but not the same as you know, it would have been Two generations it does come to feel like it goes back to what we were saying about like faulty information and data and just a lack of understanding of what was going to happen or any sense of China understand that. And then I think the second piece goes back to what DORA was being about how a lot of these policies got tacked on together around the same time, without what appears to be much thought about how they with interplay with one another and the actual cap on the western hemisphere, was a concession to Other law makers, who wanted to put something into the nineteen sixty five law that was actually restrict of, and so that was something that with
the added on basically and that they tried to get taken out of it ultimately went to the floor. So it's something that I think some lawmakers believes in obtained and because I believe it was added on. You then get the sense of like ok did not really anticipate what would happen when they made this change, so I mean that kind of one put out to both of you always like we were in the first segment about how their world these kind of like smaller bills. You know in the time between the in the kind of end of that toward the end of the national origins period like at this point, the broader, several framework of immigration- has really been in place since nineteen sixty five, you know there have been the major immigration bills have passed since then, one thousand nine hundred and eighty six one thousand nine hundred and ninety six has been focused on border and for
and the kind of interior enforcement legalization you know what do we do with people who are here in the? U S without papers, question? What do you think has been the not just like the legacy of this particular bill, but having the same framework guiding immigration for the last fifty years, which is like longer than the national origin system was ever in place, and you know it has been in place through a lot of changes to both kind of world systems and the ease of people to get from one place to another. I feel it put on the problems with: U S, immigration policy. In all of the regions we ve talked about is that it doesn't actually feel responsive to a need so like right now what we see is which backlogs in family and employment based visa is like that's because in nineteen sixty five women put together this twenty thousand cap per country. It was the same cap for every country and like that, does it really makes sense when you think about
different populations and when you look at demand and just interest in people, and there has not really been a significant came to bat like we have changed the cap, but you're still looking at that same type of measure, even since that, despite the trends that we ve seen, and so it feels very much like we need to create an immigration policy that responsive to actual people's needs, and I think that's the same as when we talk about it, then you know from Latin America for Mexico and how it hasn't really responded to what people are needed, and you know that demanded people wanting to to be your ass from those puts this hand what you just silly Sleep sparked a really interesting contract for me it has like you know, wouldn't weird. About the people who are pushing for this bill, seeing people who had come from there country who weren't close relatives as still their fellow people and pushing for a bit her liberalization, because they understood that it would like that it would help status in american society? Thinking about the politics creator,
by this visa backlog. You're talking about are that the countries most in a day. In India in particular and like the politics of this, are very Very strong in some sense the indian american community where, because there are as high skilled immigrants and yet are affected by this family based visa backlog. There's a lot of situation in resentment towards the system and a lot of idea like the there is going to be to get rid of the country caps to make it easier for that. They have been uniquely oppressed by the existing system and that changing the country cap make it easier for them and then there's the Opponents of that particular reformer, often p who are generally also supportive of liberalizing immigration. Saying look that seems like officially. For reform, but in fact, is going to benefit people who are already being benefited by other parts of this,
this done, such as the relative ease of integrating the high skilled immigrant verses, low, skilled immigrants, etc and crew, It's a sort of very different from the politics solidarity of vital We'll solidarity decreed nineteenth you, five and means within this framework of like well. You know we know there's going to be a global cap on immigration. If all has to be zero sum game and it's a lot of very specific politicking about what do we do with nurses from the northern Mariana islands and which visas do we take away for going to give me visas for people and other categories rather than this. Broader regionalized framework that we get a nineteen sixty five means that all politics have to be very, very small bore in order to change the allocation from one category to another. So Jake explain up the math on this a little bit right. The way it works is that as level
saying: there's a cab per country which is not responsive to either that countries that are prevalent in the? U S, ethnic max or just the fact that, like India, has a lot more people in it than Jamaica. then on the other side right when they're doing skilled visas. It just like look like you need to have the skills and you don't go through the process and Bobby Bible by because so many people are India in a very large proportion of the people. Getting skilled visas are indian because it's a large proportion of the global population, but then, when Indian Americans try to get visas for relatives, the country club really really squeezes you type b it's the same camp as much much smaller country would have so the waiting list goes on forever. You no second degree. Relatives are basically no chance
coming in, and this is again it's the intersection between how the different moving pieces of this law work doesn't follow. Any logic and we know why me wondering that strikes me as having not in this for some anything that sticks around for a long time, just kind of develops a constituency and it becomes like sanctified in aspects of rhetoric. So it's like now, like the family based immigration system is like a thing right and like people we'll talk about it and they have feelings and whose advocacy around it, and it's completely detached from like what The creators of this system, like said they were doing or why they said they were doing it right that, like the theory, We need family based immigration to keep the ethnic mix of the MID sixties. United States. Stable is like a nobody by thanks now be is like not factually.
But it's hard to just sort of like White Board, the immigration system from scratch, I urge that we now actually so distant from others created there, like nobody participating in the debate. Miserable knows cares where these provisions came from or or why and if so, when The dental there's no like like seller, rests like that is standing up for, like the pure vision, of this programme, and so much of our dialogue now is about unauthorized migration from Latin America, which was not an issue like it's a policy problem that we'd like back into step, eyes of series of years, most by doing things that were counter productive to the sort of intentions of the people who wanted to restrict them. creation, like the main reason it's hard to fix them
It is hard to pass laws in general, but I think it's created very difficult conceptual situation, rhetoric if a law had been passed like what we are trying to do here is increased immigration from Asia, legal immigration and also make it easier for people to settle unauthorized from Latin America. Then we could look. Look back in Bilbao. Did we achieve our goals? Have we changed our goal? but like neither of those things were the desired outcome of the law and its very I sort of I feel, like I understand better. Why there's so much like distrust? around various aspects of this it. It doesn't make sense Congress is like not great at like figuring out the billiards of the immigration system. This Episode has definitely persuaded me that I am not wrong. Thinking that the story of immigration policy in the Eu S story of unintended consequences and has opened my eyes to the fact that I guess that's not true of all policy lake.
out of this particularly stand by this The history of you have to know in order to understand incremental changes in immigration policy and twenty twenty one, that Lake you see everything is going to have ricochet. Haven't we skipped past? You know the time issues get past the eighty six and ninety six immigrants as which were also significant, but which I mean again as you is that they really continue this pattern of like not doing what they were, at least we're ties to do, although at in those cases it seems at least like a little bit more of a connection between them. Policy changes that were made and the topic that was at hand which was really I unauthorized labour migration from Mexico. Where is just like this just irony of this is that there is no huge urge and eastern european immigration following this law, which that was his whole purpose. It is fascinating that I think that now
one of the outcomes and also you know when it comes to an authorized immigration. It just is interesting to me that, like talking about says made just a reef frame. How we think about it, because now, in the rhetoric and in the past sees that are push forward predominantly by Republicans. It's this idea of demonizing people for coming to the? U S illegally. You know like that is the framework that a lot of this conversation happens in and when you think about it, it's like this is a problem that Congress create it like. This is an issue that lawmakers actually established because they didn't think about the effective policy and because of the unintended consequences, and they ve never really truly developed a system that helps racket with and helps people, and so I think just that fundamental refraining of the Congress asian and something that this context helps with that. I haven't thought about as much before
rate. We have all like develops, take away from the time machine that we can carry with us when we go back into twenty twenty one. This has been. This has been edifying for the three people on this asked. Yes, Thank you Lee, thanks, of course, to the designers of our weeds time machine. I think this always to our sponsors are producer, economic US, and we will be back
Transcript generated on 2021-07-21.