The Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions presents a book discussion.
Sarah Coleman, History Professor, Texas State University:
“The Walls Within: The Politics of Immigration in Modern America.”
Coleman’s work focuses on crucial state- and local-level battles over the rights of immigrants from the Civil Rights era to our present day, exploring case studies on subjects ranging from the development of employer sanctions, access to social services and education, and local-state-federal relations. She shows how the “walls within” American law and society that were erected out of those disputes have greatly shaped the politics of immigration in the United States over the past half century.
Professor Cristina Rodríguez (Yale Law School – Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law ), Professor Monica Varsanyi (CUNY-Graduate Center – Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences), and Dr. Brendan Shanahan (YCRI – Postdoctoral Associate) will serve as discussants. After their comments and questions for the author, the discussion will open for a general Q&A with the audience.
The 1965 Hart-Celler Act transformed the American immigration system by abolishing national quotas in favor of a seemingly egalitarian approach. But subsequent demographic shifts resulted in a backlash over the social contract and the rights of citizens versus noncitizens. In The Walls Within, Sarah Coleman explores those political clashes, focusing not on attempts to stop immigration at the border, but on efforts to limit immigrants’ rights within the United States through domestic policy. Drawing on new materials from the Carter, Reagan, and Clinton administrations, and immigration and civil rights organizations, Coleman exposes how the politics of immigration control has undermined the idea of citizenship for all.