IEHS Online

2019 immigration history – public facing work

Mural in Philadelphia featuring an immigrant family
Families Belong Together by Ian Pierce (Artes Ekeko). Photo by Steve Weinik.

Immigration historians have risen to the challenges of 2019, sharing research and expertise well beyond our discipline. Below please find a compilation of op-eds and posts written for non-scholarly outlets. These short pieces can be excellent for use in courses and to spark discussion. Please contact Carly Goodman if we missed anything!

January 2019

Tore Olsson, “The hole in Donald Trump’s wall

Melissa J. Gismondi,  “The dangerous myth propping up Trump’s wall

Randa Tawil, “Why Trump’s fearmongering about Muslims at the border misses the mark

Robert L. Tsai, “How activists resisted — and ultimately overturned — an unjust Supreme Court decision

Julia G. Young, “A wall can’t solve America’s addiction to undocumented immigration”

Caleb Elfenbein and Peter Hanson, “What does it mean to be a ‘real’ American?

Ben Railton, “Considering History: Myths and Realities of the Mexican-American Border”

Ben Railton, “Considering History: Mexican Americans as Political Prop in the 20th and 21st Centuries”

Ben Railton, “Considering History: Voices and Stories of the Mexican-American Experience”


Ron Mize, “The U.S. militarized its southern border once before. It didn’t work.”

Rachel Ida Buff, “How President Trump is dismantling the world’s refugee regime

Geraldo Cadava, “How the border wall divided the GOP”

Edward O. Frantz, “How the border morphed from a place of possibility to a symbol of fear”


Chris Deutsch, “The only real solution to the border crisis

Sonia C. Gomez, “Why women have become targets in the immigration fight

Shira Lurie, “Why Donald Trump’s immigration play could backfire big time in 2020

Bridgette W. Gunnels, “How to force the Trump administration to follow the law on refugees”

Juan David Coronado, “How Donald Trump is making illegal immigration worse”

Edward T. O’Donnell, “When Irish immigrants were America’s most feared terrorist group

Elizabeth F. Cohen, “What Immigration Restrictionists Can’t Foresee”


Robert W. Snyder and David M. Reimers, “New York has made waves of religiously diverse immigration work. How America can too.


Kristen Green, “How has failed African American customers

Mary Ziegler, “What Clarence Thomas gets wrong about the ties between abortion and eugenics

Violet Moller, “How anti-immigrant policies thwart scientific discovery

Kevin Jennings, “The Trump administration wants to charge for asylum. For some refugees, the price may be too high.


Rebecca Kobrin, “For a smarter foreign policy, we need a smarter — and more moral — immigration policy

Aaron E. Sánchez, “How the struggles of Mexican Americans shaped Julián Castro’s presidential campaign

Marixa Lasso, “Why birthright citizenship is crucial to democratic governance

Ernesto Castañeda, “The contradiction at the heart of immigration restriction

Eladio Bobadilla, “Don’t Be Outraged They’re Being Called Concentration Camps. Be Outraged They Exist.”


Smita Ghosh, “How migrant detention became American policy

Aaron Freedman, “Democracies have dehumanized migrants before

Carly Goodman, “John Tanton has died. He made America less open to immigrants — and more open to Trump.

Carly GoodmanS. Deborah Kang and Yael Schacher, “How advocates can defeat Trump’s latest assault on asylum seekers

Ariela Gross and Alejandro de la Fuente, “Citizenship once meant whiteness. Here’s how that changed.

Grace Mallon, “How George Washington held officials accountable for border violence”


Inés Valdez, “Why anti-immigration politics hurt white workers

Marshall Fitz, “The Trump administration’s new rule could prove devastating for migrant children at the border

Sarah Miller-Davenport, “What Hawaii’s statehood says about inclusion in America

Faith Hillis, “Why trying to distinguish between useful and dangerous immigrants always backfires

Salonee Bhaman, “How President Trump’s new immigration rule could erode the social safety net

Hidetaka Hirota, “The danger of vilifying poor immigrants

Geraldo Cadava, “Want to know why some Hispanics support Donald Trump? Ask Richard Nixon.

Angela Stuesse, “The poultry industry recruited them. Now ICE raids are devastating their communities.

Alberto Wilson III, “Why mourning the El Paso shootings will undermine Trump’s immigration rhetoric

Sandy Plácido, “How Puerto Ricans overcame American repression to topple a governor”


Julia G. Young, “Even as President Trump slams the door on refugees, there is reason for hope

Judith S. Lewis, “What World War II evacuation policy teaches us about the dangers of family separation

Christopher M. Parsons, “The real history behind Dior’s Sauvage campaign

Julio Capó, Jr., “The Racist, Sexist, Classist, and Homophobic Past of the “Public Charge” Clause”

Catherine Ceniza Choy‏, “Why are there so many Filipino nurses in California?”

S. Deborah Kang, “The History of Citizenship Day Is a Reminder That Being an American Has Always Been Complicated”


Charlotte Brooks, “Why China should recognize that dissent can be patriotic

Liz Ellis, “Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day should mean honoring migrants’ rights

Brent Staples, “How Italians Became ‘White’” (Citing Matthew Frye Jacobson, Jennifer Guglielmo, Jessica Barbata Jackson, John V. Baiamonte Jr., Danielle Battisti

Pamela S. Nadell,  “President Trump’s violent threats against migrants betray American ideals”

Pedro Rios, “For 25 years, Operation Gatekeeper has made life worse for border communities”


Erika Lee, “Trump’s xenophobia is an American tradition — but it doesn’t have to be”

Angela Stuesse, “The connection between the poultry on your holiday table and Trump’s deportation machine”

Maddalena Marinari, “Why family separation is so central to Trump’s immigration vision”

Yael Schacher, “Why forbidding asylum seekers from working undermines the right to seek asylum”

A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, “How Latinos saved American cities”

Steven C. Beda, “Why the massacre at Centralia 100 years ago is critically important today”

Bryn Upton, “Why do governments think border walls work?”

Margaret A. Nash, “The dark history of land-grant universities”

S. Deborah Kang, “Border Fiction Made Real: How Search and Seizure Laws Degrade on the 100-Mile Border Zone”


Debbie Sharnak, “Why Mexico is a haven for political exiles like Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales”

Heather Tirado Gilligan, “How historically black colleges helped rescue Jewish refugees”