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After They Closed the GatesJewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921-1965$
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Libby Garland

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226122458

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226122595.001.0001

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Abolishing the Quotas

Abolishing the Quotas

(p.177) Chapter 6 Abolishing the Quotas
After They Closed the Gates

Libby Garland

University of Chicago Press

The Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel, the Cold War, postwar American prosperity and the American civil rights movement all recast debates about race, immigration, and law. Chapter Six traces how these forces, along with ongoing American Jewish activism, helped redefine the relationship between Jews and U.S. immigration law, and complete the process of severing the association between Jews and illegal immigration. The new language of “refugees” helped to validate the claims that European migrants had on the nation. So did the 1965 abolition of the quota system, which had come to be seen as an embarrassing legacy of a racist past. During this same period, illegal immigration increasingly came to be defined as nearly synonymous with Mexican immigration, a racialized equation which, in turn, helped erase the history of the illegal European incursions of the prewar period.

Keywords:   illegal immigration, racism, Immigration Act of 1965, Jewish immigration, Jews, quota laws, refugees

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