U.S. Immigration Policies: Still Racist After All These Years
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To a surprisingly large extent, the power of Congress to regulate immigrant selection based on invidious distinctions continues to exist and, even more so, continues to be legally permitted to an extent not matched in any other avenue of American jurisprudence.
It's an uncomfortable truth: the policy discussion surrounding who deserves to be let through the border is endemically exclusive. As long as national boundaries align with divisions of race, culture and class, policies on border control, visa lotteries, green cards and work permits are all bound up in an inherently racialized project of social engineering. There is no clear moral line that can be drawn; we can only be conscious that these policies are never "neutral." They always turn on a subjective question that vests the government with incredible power: who belongs here?
Michelle Chen has written for the South China Morning Post, Clamor, INTHEFRAY.COM and her own zine, cain.