But What About the Children? | Summary and Q&A

September 7, 2016
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But What About the Children?


Immigration has always been a part of American society, with race playing a significant role in shaping immigration policies. Currently, the focus is on undocumented immigrants, particularly those of Hispanic origin, and finding a solution for their path to citizenship.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How has race influenced immigration policies in the United States?

Race has historically played a significant role in American immigration policies. The first immigration law in 1792 restricted naturalized citizenship to only individuals of the white race. This racial exclusion continued in various forms throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, targeting different immigrant groups.

Q: Why do Hispanic immigrants face backlash in certain regions?

In regions of the United States that have not historically received large numbers of immigrants, the presence of Hispanic immigrants can evoke a strong reaction. This is driven by fear and xenophobia, fueled by the perception that Hispanic immigrants pose a threat to local culture and resources.

Q: What is the main policy challenge concerning undocumented immigrants?

The primary policy challenge regarding undocumented immigrants in the United States is how to address the status of the estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented individuals living in the country. There is a need to find a way to provide a path to citizenship or regularized status for these individuals, especially considering the presence of their native-born children.

Q: Why is family separation a significant concern in immigration discussions?

Family separation is a pressing concern in immigration discussions, particularly for Hispanic immigrants. As a family-oriented population, the idea of separating families due to immigration status is emotionally charged. It also raises questions about the rights and well-being of native-born children of undocumented immigrants.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Immigration has been a constant thread in American history, with race playing a crucial role in determining who could become a naturalized citizen.

  • Anti-immigrant sentiment has existed since the 19th century, targeting different immigrant groups at different times.

  • Currently, the discourse surrounds undocumented immigrants, primarily of Hispanic origin, and the challenge of finding a solution for their status.

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