Throughout America's history immigration policy has always been a controversial and complex topic, going to the heart of what it means to be American. Now, with terrorism as a new concern, Americans have begun to look closer at the effects of rising immigration and porous borders.
In this cogently-argued work, immigration scholar Otis L. Graham, Jr. examines the history of immigration pressures and American policy debates and choices. He begins with the first "Great Wave" of the 1880s and traces the effects of the system of national origins, enforced from the 1920s through 1965. The reforms of the 1960s ushered in an era of large-scale legal and illegal immigration, resulting in a vast social experiment in demographic transformation. In assessing the past, present, and future of immigration, Graham shows that the failure to control the influx of foreigners is leading America toward further security risks, unsustainable population growth, imported worker competition with American labor, and, ultimately, social fragmentation.
Otis L. Graham, Jr. is professor of history, emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author or editor of over 15 books, including Debating American Immigration, 1882–Present (with Roger Daniels) and Environmental Politics and Policy, 1960s to 1990s. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.