Cant Deport a Movement

In The Thick


What's up. Welcome to the podcast about politics. Race and culture from a poc perspective money. Sam and i'm lorella joining us as a special guest. All the way from brooklyn is a daas. She's an immigrant rights lawyer professor at new york university school of law and co director of the. Oh so important. Nyu immigrant rights clinic alina. Welcome to in the thick. Thank you so much for having me. You are the author of the recent book. No justice in the shadows. Which is what we've been saying. You know people in the shadows is not a good thing for democracy and your book you write that. Roughly three hundred thousand people are formerly deported from the us every year with a million more turn back. Just you know. Within the border area you talk about how the immigration criminalization and deportation systems are intertwined desire to maintain the racial status quo in other words the white supremacy and white majority of this country. You talk about how the use of the terms like criminal alien one of our favorites. Yeah falsely separates immigrant communities into categories of good versus bad right. And we've also had this presidential election where one candidate didn't denounce white supremacists and in this mist of a nationwide protest for black lives and a pandemic that has disproportionately affected black and communities following the election right. it was declared that joe biden had one right. Donald trump who previously had said. He wouldn't commit to a peaceful. Transfer refuse to concede and his allies started referring to vote as what a surprise quote legal or illegal and they especially tried to discredit the vote counting in cities with large black populations detroit philadelphia atlanta. This idea of like even votes now becoming good and bad legal and illegal criminal or non-criminal. It just permeates throughout our entire electoral politics so alina. Can you talk about how the immigration system has been set up to protect a particular type of immigrant absolutely and this is one of the things i focus on in. The book is really a historical perspective. Because we're told that our country is a welcoming country in that people who face deportation must be facing this. Because they've broken the law. They violated the laws where the laws are actually written and the foundation of the laws are designed to treat immigrants a- suspects to exclude them and to exploit them and we know this from the very origins of this country right there first naturalisation law that congress row because the constitution required them to come up with a universal naturalization law was limited to free white persons that's the foundation of our rules about membership in belonging and we police migration in this country initially focused on black people an indigenous people right so for the first century when voluntary immigration was mostly why congress was focused on fugitive slave laws that allowed black people to be removed from free state's to slaveholding states and the indian removal act that allowed indigenous people to be removed from their ancestral lands to make room for property white man and those are the tools that congress picked up on when it decided to focus on immigrants because they had chinese immigrants arriving in large numbers but eventually that led to the national origins quotas where we explicitly used racism to decide who could get a visa a spot in this country and mexicans in particular were actually exempted in order for southern businesses to use them for cheap labor so instead of excluding them that's why in the nineteen twenties southern segregation has proposed criminalizing unlawful border crossings. So that when people's labor was no longer needed they could be easily police imprison than deported. And that's the legacy of our immigration laws and while we may have gotten rid of the national origins quotas in nineteen sixty five. We replaced it with a system that essentially perhaps immigration including mexican immigration for the first time to twenty thousand nieces when hundreds of thousands of people have been going back and forth and the laws created this kind of undocumented population at created this false sense of illegality and as a backlash to legal immigration suddenly coming from asia africa. The caribbean you saw this rise of law and order policies nineteen seventies eighties war on crime. The war on drugs suddenly treating immigrants as criminals. And that's really what's laid the foundations for the modern immigration system today where police have been taken over as essentially immigration agents to create a pipeline for deportation and that replicates all of the racism that we see in policing generally and combined so that immigrant communities kind of double ranked in their communities.

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