MOBILIZING COHERENT COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO CHANGING IMMIGRATION POLICIES: Multimedia from the Center for Migration Studies

Authored by Katrina Ehrnman-Newton

Image shows a view from above of a table with a panel of speakers and a seated audience. Watermarked with Center for Migration Studies logo.

Screenshot of the panel’s proceedings during this day of the conference.

This video is part of a three day proceedings from June 7-9, 2017 by several groups coming together to discuss their actions and emerging strategies to face the increasing hostility and illegal action being taken against immigrants and others under the emerging Trump presidency. The event was hosted by the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance of Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston, the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, and the South Texas College of Law Houston (Center for Migrations Studies 2017).  Continue reading

The Rise in Illegal Immigration in the 1960s

Authored by Elizabeth Paul

This is a hidden compartment meant to smuggle in illegal aliens from Mexico, taken in 1968.

In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson (Ball et al 2017). This act ended the quota system started in the 1920s that had been put in place that gave preference to those of European origin, and instead created a system that was meant to reunite immigrant families and attract skilled workers (History.com 2010). This original quota system, however, did not include Mexico (The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress 2015). Because of this, temporary workers from Mexico were often hired to work on farms as part of the Bracero Program (Ball et al 2017). However, even after the end of this program as well as the introduction of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, former workers that were part of the Bracero Program would still cross over the border to work these farm jobs.

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Does the Melting Pot Still Meld in 2018?

Authored by Ocaria DiMango

A copy of the cover of Forbes Magazine, dated October 30, 1978 displaying the Statue of Liberty. This is currently part of the Endres Collection for the Center for Migration Studies.

This artifact is a copy of the October 30, 1978 issue of Forbes magazine, which portrays the Statue of Liberty in all her glory, a symbol of American’s immigrant heritage. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! (Moreno 2004). However, this sentiment towards new immigrants has changed throughout the life of America. I believe that views towards immigration, over time, have been based on what America was going through in history. It’s important for us to look back on an article like this and see how far we’ve come – so in this case, I wonder, how far have we come since 1978? Continue reading

“The United States and the World”: The Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy

Authored by Catherine Findorak

“Illegal Migration Examined at San Antonio Hearing.” Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy Newsletter No. 3 (January 1980)

In August of 1981, joint committees of the U.S. house and senate released the final report of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy (SCIRP), entitled U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest (1981). Based on years of work, the final report of the commission recommended “closing the back door to undocumented/illegal migration, opening the front door a little more to accommodate legal migration in the interests of this country” (U.S. Congress 1981, 3) and stressed the need to work with other countries to improve the conditions that cause migration and exile (Fragomen 1981).

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Ed Koch, Immigration, and S. 461

Authored by Nicolás Cabrera

Handwritten memo and copy of S. 461

A memo sent to Arthur P. “Skip” Endres by Ed Koch.

Senate Bill 461 of the 94th Congress was introduced January 28, 1975, by Sen. Harrison A. Williams, Jr. [D-NJ] to grant “…a child adopted by a single United States citizen the same immigrant status as a child adopted by a United States citizen and his spouse pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act” (Library of Congress 1975).
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Endres Collection: The Proposed Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1970

Authored by Catherine Sheehan.

Press Release from the office of Peter W. Rodino on Narcotics Use.

The press release from the Office of Peter W. Rodino dated April 26, 1970 is part of the archived Arthur P. Endres Papers at the Center for Migration Services. The collection contains Endres’ documents, who served as counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law, from 1973-1989 (CMS 2018). Continue reading

John F. Kennedy Announces Plans for Improved Immigration Laws, June 11, 1963

Authored by Cheryl Fruchthandler

President Kennedy is surrounded by delegates of the Third Symposium of the American Committee on Italian Migration at a colonnade near the Rose Garden June 11, 1963, after announcing plans on improved immigration laws.

In June of 1963, a lifetime’s work of President John F. Kennedy finally came to fulfillment, as a new proposal for immigration would be presented in front of Congress. Before becoming president, Kennedy had persevered as a Massachusetts State Senator to widen the quota of immigrants allowed into the United States by replacing the old quota granting entry into America. Among Kennedy’s seven proposals introduced in 1959 to liberalize immigration was a unique proposal to make it easier for future immigrants to assimilate into the United States.1 Kennedy was an advocate for change in the restrictive immigrating policy of our nation. He sharply criticized the system and called upon Congress to allow additional immigrants in each year without regard to their race or nationality. Continue reading

Chick Sexers and Congress

Authored by Alice Kiffer.

On May 21, 1979, at the 96th Congress (1979-1980), Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) introduced H.R. 4161, which was then referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary[1]. On July 11, 1979, Assistant Counsel Ray D’Uva wrote to Chairwoman Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) to discuss a possible administrative, rather than legislative, resolution to the issue (see image).

The issue in question: immigrant chick sexers and the (in)ability of the American Chick Sexing Association (Amchick) to file with the Labor Department on behalf of the chick sexers. As D’Uva summarized in the memo, the poultry industry claimed that there were not enough qualified chick sexers in the U.S. The Labor Department did not dispute that claim or the perceived need for immigrant chick sexers, but it took the position that it could not accept applications filed by Amchick on the sexers’ behalf because the organization was not an “employer” for purposes of labor certification.

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The NCWC’s Fight for Just Migration in WWII

Authored by Maeve Dwyer

National Catholic Welfare Conference Bureau of Immigration Annual Report (1940-1941), from the Center for Migration Studies National Catholic Welfare Conference Collection

In 1920 the National Catholic Welfare Conference, previously the National Catholic Welfare Council, created a Bureau of Immigration to aid immigrants entering the United States. [1] The NCWC Annual Report (July 1, 1940- June 30, 1941) describes the efforts of the NCWC in assisting migrants who sought refuge in the United States during a time of increasing turbulence and uncertainty. Specifically, within the context of this annual report, the violence of World War II[2] was spreading throughout Europe. The NCWC took great pains to relieve the displaced, and those fleeing Nazi holdings or Axis power territories.

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IT’S ALL IN A LETTER: Requesting visa approval for NBC reporter to travel to Hanoi in 1979

Authored by Whitney Karen Brown

Elizabeth Holtzman, letter to Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Hoang Bao Son, 28 Feb. 1979, box 35, Garner J. Cline Papers, Center for Migration Studies, (New York, NY.).

In February of 1979, Elizabeth Holtzman, Chairwoman for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law wrote a letter to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Hoang Bao Son, regarding the quick approval for visas for James Upshaw, an NBC reporter, and his television crew, to travel with her to Hanoi.[1] The letter is part of a collection called the Garner J. Cline Papers, which currently resides in the Center for Migration Studies in New York.[2] The Garner J. Cline Papers consists of fifty-one boxes containing the personal papers of Garner J. Cline, who, at the time the letter was written, was Staff Director for the Committee on the Judiciary in the House of Representatives.[3] Continue reading