The Reactions of Black Americans to Immigration

Lawrence H. Fuchs

in Immigration Reconsidered

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780195055108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854219 | DOI:
The Reactions of Black Americans to Immigration

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Labor and the unemployed frequently opposed the “back-door” policies on the grounds that imported labor would diminish their own opportunities. This was the case, as this chapter shows, with black leaders who supported restrictive legislation. For some Americans, the battle over restriction implied a control of national identity and of the nature of their political life. The discussion here shows that men like Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington were restrictionists, a position only recently abandoned by North American black leaders when they formed a coalition with Mexican-Americans regarding the 1986 immigration reform legislation. It implies that Afro-American political leaders see their reversal and attempts at coalition building as a means to win support among recent black immigrant groups, as a civil rights program, and as a potential basis for future continuing coalitions with Hispanic groups.

Keywords: black leaders; immigration; Booker T. Washington; discrimination; Booker Washington; Frederick Douglass; back-door policy

Chapter.  11284 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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