‘The Gravest Menace?’ American Immigration Policy

Desmond King

in In The Name of Liberalism

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296294
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599668 | DOI:
 ‘The Gravest Menace?’ American Immigration Policy

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King uses historical archival research to examine American immigration policy's formulation between 1900 and 1930, and illustrates how racial quotas and eugenic categories shaped restrictions on immigration. He especially focuses on the influence of eugenic arguments upon legislation in the 1920s. Moreover, King explores the illiberal implications and effects of criteria outlining who were suitable immigrants and who were not: measures that compromised the US’ traditional commitment to the equality of treatment.

Keywords: equality; eugenics; immigration policy; liberalism; racial quota; USA

Chapter.  16357 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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