The Politics of Immigration in Modern America

Discussions on immigration policy often focus on building and tearing down walls, keeping people out of the country, and maintaining law and order. Debates over the social contract and the rights of citizens versus noncitizens shape our understanding of immigration and influence the extent to which protections are provided for immigrants. In her new book The Walls Within, historian Sarah Coleman seeks to shift discourse on immigration politics away from the security of international borders and toward domestic policy and its effect on civil rights.

Drawing on new materials from past presidential administrations, immigration groups and civil rights organizations, Coleman examines who is entitled to the American dream, and how such dreams can be subverted for those already calling the country home. She shows that immigration politics is not just about building walls, but about employer sanctions, access to schools, welfare and the role of local authorities in implementing policies.

Join us as Sarah Coleman dives deep into the politics of immigration control and its implications for the idea of citizenship for all.

Image - Sarah Coleman
Sarah Coleman
Assistant Professor of History, Texas State University; Author, The Walls Within: The Politics of Immigration in Modern America
Image - Marshall Fitz
In Conversation with Marshall Fitz
Managing Director of Immigration, Emerson Collective