JFK Racial Destroyer of America
50 years after assassination of JFK
it’s time we bury the dead traitorous Kennedy’s once and for all.
A Vast Social Experiment:
The United States had left regulation of
immigration to the coastal states until the Supreme
Court in 1875 declared that this was exclusively a
national, not a state responsibility.
struggled through four decades to create a
coherent policy that would bring under control the
large-scale and essentially unregulated immigration
that commenced in the 1880s.
The result was the
national origins system created by legislation in
1921, 1924 and 1929.
Canada, Australia, Argentina,
and Brazil established similar regulatory regimes at
about the same time.
All were based on selection
systems designed not only to limit immigration but
also to replicate the nation’s historic structure of
This new restrictionist regime
brought the numbers entering the U.S. down
sharply from earlier annual inflows which had
reached 1 million.
A powerful force working in the
same direction was the collapse of the American
(and global) economy into the Great Depression
lasting from 1929-1940, and after that the hazards
of international travel during the Second World
Recorded immigration to the U.S. averaged
305,000 from 1925-29, under the interim quotas,
then dropped sharply in the 1930s to an average of
53,000 a year that hides a virtual negative
immigration in 1932.
In the 1940s, immigration
averaged about 100,000 a year, but with an upward
trend after the war.
Writing after the new
regulatory regime had been in place for nearly 25
years, W. S. Bernard estimated that, subtracting
emigration, only 1.7 million people had migrated to
the U.S. in that period, the equivalent of two years
arrivals prior to restriction.
The demographic consequences of ending the open
door cannot be known with certainty, since no one
can be sure what immigration would have been in
the absence of restriction.
Bouvier has estimated that, assuming no restriction
and pre-war levels of one million a year for the rest
of the century, the American population would have
reached 400 million by the year 2000.
have meant 120 million more American high-
consumption lifestyles piled upon the roughly 280
million reported in the census of 2000, making far
worse the dismal figures on species extinction,
wetland loss, soil erosion, and the accumulation of
climate-changing and health-impairing pollutants
that are being tallied up as the new century
The chief goals of the national origins system,
shrinking the incoming numbers and tilting the
sources of the immigration stream back toward
northern Europe, were less decisively achieved.
Numbers entering legally but outside the quotas
(“non-quota immigrants,” mostly relatives of those
recently arrived and Europeans entering through
Latin American and Caribbean countries) surprised
policymakers by matching and in time exceeding
those governed by quotas.
Yet with overall
numbers so low, ethnic composition did not agitate
International economic maladies, war, and the new
American system of restriction had thus combined
to reduce immigration numbers to levels more in
line with the long course of American history, and
to some observers seemed to have ended the role
of immigration as a major force in American life.
Apparently the nation would henceforth grow and
develop, as Thomas Jefferson had preferred, from
natural increase and the cultural assets of its
The curbing of the Great Wave created a forty year
breathing space of relatively low immigration, with
effects favorable to assimilation.
toward joining the American mainstream did not
have to contend with continual massive
replenishment of foreigners.
The new immigration system was widely popular,
and the immigration committees of Congress
quickly became backwaters of minor tinkering or
The 1930s arrived with vast and chronic
unemployment, and the American people wanted
nothing from immigration. War in Europe would
bring unprecedented refugee issues, but dealing
with these — or avoiding them — did not require
any rethinking of the basic system for deciding on
the few thousand people who would be given
But American immigration policy in the postwar
years attracted a small but growing body of
The political core of a coalition pressing
for a new, more “liberalized” policy regime was
composed of ethnic lobbyists (“professional
immigrant-handlers,” Rep. Francis Walter called
them) claiming to speak for nationalities migrating
prior to the National Origins Act of 1924, the most
effective being Jews from central and eastern
Europe who were deeply concerned with the rise of
fascism and anti-semitism on the continent and
eternally interested in haven.
Unable by themselves
to interest many politicians or the media in the
settled issue of America’s immigration law, these
groups hoped for new circumstances in which
restrictions could be discredited and the old regime
of open doors restored.
The arrival of the Civil
Rights Movement thrust (racial) “discrimination”
into the center of national self-examination.
enemy everywhere at the bottom of virtually every
national blemish seemed to be Discrimination, the
historic, now intolerable subordinating
classification of groups on the basis of inherited
The nation’s national origins-
grounded immigration laws could not escape an
assault by these reformist passions, and critics of
the national origins system found the liberal wing
of the Democratic Party receptive to their demand
that immigration reform should be a part of the
civil rights agenda.
Who would lead, and formulate what alternatives?
Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy cautiously
stepped out on the issue in the 1950s, sensing that
a liberalization stance would gather vital ethnic
voting blocs for his long-planned run for the
His work on a refugee bill caught the
attention of officials of the Anti-Defamation League
of B’nai B’rith, who convinced Kennedy to become
an author of a pamphlet on immigration, with the
help of an ADL supplied historian, Arthur Mann, and
The little book was initially ignored, but its
arguments would dominate the emerging debate.
The ADL, part of a Jewish coalition whose agenda
included opening wider the American gates so that
increasing U.S. ethnic heterogeneity would reduce
the chances of a populist mass movement
embracing anti-semitism, had made a golden
John F. Kennedy was no crusader on
immigration (or anything else), but he was an
activist young President by 1961, comfortable with
immigration reform as part of his agenda, elected
on a party platform that pledged elimination of the
national origins system.
Whatever Congress might have had in mind on
immigration, it was understood that real action
waited on the President’s agenda.
1960 victory had been narrow, he moved very
slowly on sensitive issues, especially those where
he expected formidable resistance.
The death in
May, 1963 of staunch defender of the national
origins system Congressman Francis Walter came
just as Kennedy was finally moving on civil rights
legislation, and it seemed natural to link the two
causes whose joint target, by long agreement
among liberals, was “discrimination.”
a special message on immigration to Congress in
July, asking for repeal of a policy that
“discriminates among applicants for admission into
the U.S. on the basis of the accident of birth,” and
since the basis in the census of 1920 is “arbitrary”
the entire system is “without basis in either logic or
The Asia-Pacific Triangle limits should be
abolished at once, national origins quotas ended in
five years, to be replaced by a selection system
based on individual skills and family reunification,
There would be a minimal
increase in total numbers — from l57,000 quota
immigrants to 165,000.
Reform never meant
increased numbers, as the reformers constantly
assured the public.
This initiative, along with the rest of the Kennedy
program, was inherited by Lyndon Johnson after
The latter convinced the new
President to endorse reform in his 1964 State of the
Union Address and to hold a meeting with ethnic
leaders where Johnson repeated the key slogan of
the attack on the national origins system: “We
ought to never ask, In what country were you
Still, expansionist reformers privately were
In the words of the American Jewish
Committee’s lobbyist in Washington, “there is no
great public demand for immigration reform” which
“is a very minor issue.”
It was indeed a minor issue to the public, not on
the radar screen in a decade overheating with
social movements and an escalating war in
Liberal reformers discovered after
John Kennedy’s assassination that legislating social
change could be accomplished even when only the
policy elites, if not the larger public, recognized a
problem needing a solution.
There was emerging on
the immigration question a pattern in public debate
that could be found on many issues: elite opinion-
makers selected a problem and a liberal policy
solution, while grassroots opinion, unfocussed and
marginalized, ran strongly the other way.
in papers like The New York Times and The
Washington Post, or in national magazines such as
the Saturday Evening Post denounced the national
origins system as the equivalent of Jim Crow, and
endorsed repeal of it, saying little about an
As historian Betty Koed observed in her
history of the 1965 act, editorials and letters to the
editor “in smaller cities and towns” revealed
“widespread condemnation of the new immigration
bill” and of the idea of “liberalizing” immigration
Legislative hearings began in the House in summer,
1964, while the Senate was engaged in something
more pressing but, some thought, closely related –
passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which barred
discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion,
sex, and “national origin.”
This language in the civil
rights legislation attracted frowning attention to
the immigration status quo.
How could the U.S.
exert world leadership, Congressman Emanuel
Celler (also orginator of gun control) asked, if our current immigration system was
“a gratuitous insult to many nations” because of its
The national origins system
was not based on race but nationality, but in the
intense climate of the civil rights crusade the two
were easily elided into equivalent evils,
impermissible factors in decision-making.
treated nationalities unequally, Senator Paul
Douglas said, and while “it would be impossible to
draw up a law restricting immigration without
discriminating somehow between those who are
admitted and those who are not,” we should end
the “basically unjust criterion of national origin” for
a more “equitable formula,” presumably
discrimination on some more defensible basis.
Preference categories for professionals and
relatives seemed to him more equitable.
“an immigration policy reflecting America’s ideal of
the equality of all men without regard to race,
color, creed, or national origin,” said Senator Hiram
Fong of Hawaii when the Senate opened hearings in
“Theories of ethnic superiority” must no
longer be the basis for our immigration law, stated
the bill’s chief Senate sponsor, Philip Hart of
Against such sentiments, an American
Legion spokesman countered that “it is in the best
interest of our country to maintain the present
make up of our cultural and social structure.”
context of the Cold War and the civil rights
struggle, there seemed considerably more energy
and pertinence in the reformers’ arguments.
national origins system was on the defensive now,
ironically joined at the hip with Jim Crow.
Yet how could immigration reformers change a
policy regime that was widely popular?
poll released in May, 1965 showed the public
“strongly opposed to easing of immigration laws”
by a 2 to 1 margin (58% to 24%).10
have discouraged immigration liberalizers, but they
knew that a burst of Great Society legislation was
beginning to pour through Congress in the mid-60s,
most of it not generated out of public demand or
even understanding but out of the unique
circumstances created by Kennedy’s death,
Johnson’s legislative skills, and the intellectual and
political collapse of American conservatism.
And the defenders of the national origins system –
those who understood its complexities — seemed
intellectually on the defensive.
Few seemed able to
match the blunt counterattack made a decade
earlier by former State Department Visa Office head
Robert C. Alexander in an article in the American
Legion Magazine in 1956: “What do the opponents
of the national origins quota system want when
they glibly advocate action which would result in a
change in the ethnological composition of our
people . . . perhaps they should tell us, what is
wrong with our national origins?”
Still, a major
problem for defenders of the existing system was
flaws they were forced to acknowledge.
Up to 2/3
of the immigration flows after World War II had
come outside the quotas, as entrants from the
western hemisphere and refugees.
The system had
become a swiss cheese of loopholes, with the result
that annual numbers had been rising and the
cultural background of immigrants was not what
the system was designed to produce.
manoeuvring produced a House version of the
administration’s legislation that ended national
origins quotas and shifted to a system of
preferences based on family reunification and skills.
Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was the only
member of the Subcommittee on Immigration
defending the national origins system during
Ervin met every administration witness
with the argument that you could not draft any
immigration law in which you did not
“discriminate,” in that you favor some over others.
Why not then discriminate, as the McCarran-Walter
Act did, in favor of national groups who historically
had the greatest influence in building the nation?
“The McCarran-Walter Act is . . . based on
conditions existing in the U.S., like a mirror
reflecting the United States.”
To put all the earth’s
peoples on the same basis as prospective
immigrants to the U.S., Ervin argued, was to
discriminate against the “people from England . . .
France . . . Germany . . . Holland” who had first
settled and shaped the country.
On the Senate
floor, Senator Robert Byrd (among others)
supported Ervin: “Every other country that is
attractive to immigrants practices selectivity (in
favor of their founding nationalities) and without
apology,” including Australia, Japan, and Israel,
Our system is “just and wise,” since
“additional population” from western European
countries is “more easily and readily assimilated
into the American population. . . . Why should the
U.S. be the only advanced nation in the world today
to develop a guilt complex concerning its
Whatever the merits of this defense of the existing
system made by a handful of legislators, it
confronted a large political problem.
population who would have approved of this
argument were mostly dead, and those living, by
contrast to their ancestors in 1921-28, had little
interest in immigration issues or knowledge of
what was being proposed.
The patriotic societies,
the American Legion and the Daughters of the
American Revolution, joined by obviously marginal
groups such as the Baltimore Anti-Communist
League and the League of Christian Women,
presented their traditional opposition to enlarged
and non-European immigration but did not seem to
exert much influence over the average legislator –
especially when so many of these groups showed
little knowledge of the legislation and seemed
mostly concerned with the threat of communist
subversives slipping across national borders.
was evident that the restrictions of the 1920s had
lost important elements of their core support.
chief sponsor of limiting immigration had been
But in the 1950s AFL-CIO
leadership — though not, apparently, the rank-and-
file — had begun to shift its ground on immigration,
and by the economically robust 1960s no longer
expressed concerns about job and wage
competition of an earlier era.
The same was true of
another component of the potential restrictionist
African-American leaders in the1960s
were beginning a move toward political solidarity
with all the world’s “people of color” and could not
be counted on to take the restrictionist positions
staked out by Frederick Douglass, Booker
Washington, and A. Philip Randolph.
Even leaders of the patriotic societies seemed to
sense the inevitability of some sort of retreat from
national origins, and their opposition was not
strenuous or skillful.
The Senate floor manager of
the bill, Senator Edward Kennedy, reported that in
his meetings with several patriotic society
representatives they “expressed little overt defense
of the national-origins system” and indicated their
willingness to consider a new framework so long as
the numbers were not enlarged.
them that this was not the reformers’ intention,
and it is clear from the legislative record that “the
reformers consistently denied that they were
seeking to increase immigration significantly,” in
the summary of Steven Wagner.
Both historians of
the legislative background of the 1965 act, Wagner
and Koed, decline to call this outright deception,
believing instead that the reformers had not given
much thought to the system they were putting in
place, for they “were looking backwards more than
Their “main impetus . . . was not
practical, but ideological.”
They were expunging
what they took to be a legislative blot on America’s
internationally-scrutinized record on human rights,
more intent on dismantling an inherited system
than in the careful design of a substitute.
These assurances left the oddly enfeebled
opposition unable to take aim against larger
numbers and different source countries since these
were not being proposed, and perhaps not even
There seemed to be a universal
miscalculation of the results that would follow from
the new emphasis given to family reunification in
the new preference system.
Everyone appeared to
agree with the view of the Wall Street Journal that
family preferences “insured that the new
immigration pattern would not stray radically from
the old one.”
It is hard in retrospect to see why
it was not obvious that few American citizens had
immediate relatives abroad, so that this feature of
the new selection system would build streams of
family flows from a base in the most newly arrived,
which meant Mexicans and whatever new refugees
might arrive in an unpredictable future.
preference was leverage for newcomers, and left
long-term residents with diminished influence over
immigration streams shaping the nation’s future.
A formidable coalition had mobilized behind repeal
of the old law and for a vaguely defined
The coalition included the
numerous “Volags” from religious denominations
along with those organizations claiming to
represent the ethnic groups associated with the
New Immigration, strategically placed politically in
the large northeastern and midwestern cities.
Joining them were business leaders and
organizations, including western “big agriculture.”
Sympathetic to these lobbying groups with a
reasonably direct stake were most liberals, for
whom immigration reform had surfaced as a
smaller theatre of the civil rights movement and
one which did not involve the physical dangers of
marching in Mississippi.
Ervin attempted to get the best bargain possible
under the circumstances, asking pointed questions
of administration witnesses about the legislation’s
impact on overall numbers and their composition.
He was given reassuring and (as it turned out)
alarmingly wrong estimates.
witnesses predicted that the bulk of new
immigrants would come from large backlogs in
Italy, Greece, and Poland, and that annual numbers
would increase only a modest 50-75,000.
question of Latin American immigration, Attorney
General Nicholas Katzenbach was obviously
ignorant of the testimony in the population
hearings of 1963 in which experts had testified that
Mexico’s population had nearly doubled between
1940 and 1960.
In the last decade, 400,000
Mexicans had migrated to the U.S. as 3 million
braceros crossed the border seasonally.
Katzenbach, ignorant of all this, stated that “there
is not much pressure to come to the United States
from those countries.”
Senator Ervin saw the opportunity.
Was it not
“discrimination” to leave the entire Western
Hemisphere without limitation, implying “they
were the best peoples of all,” and hurting the
feelings of those in the Eastern Hemisphere?
administration reluctantly agreed to a 120,000
“ceiling” (a leaky ceiling; immediate family and
refugee admissions were uncapped) on Western
In 1978, separate
hemispheric “ceilings” were merged into a
worldwide fake number of 290,000 that legislators
persisted in calling a “ceiling” but historians and
others should not.
It was merely the capped
component of a system with no upper limit.
The law of unintended consequences was about to
produce a major case study.
putting in place a new system under which total
numbers would triple and the source countries of
immigration would radically shift from Europe to
Latin America and Asia — exactly the two
demographic results that the entire restrictionist
campaign from the 1870s to 1929 was designed to
Yet the two core ideas of the
restrictionists, that modern America was better off
without large-scale immigration and that the
existing ethno-racial makeup of the American
people should be preserved, had not been directly
Indeed, they were explicitly reaffirmed.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy said in Senate
hearings in 1964 that abolishing the restrictions on
the Asia-Pacific Triangle would result in
“approximately 5,000 [immigrants] . . .after which
immigration from that source would virtually
As a Senator in 1965 he testified that
abolishing the European tilt of the national origins
system and placing emphasis on family
reunification would maintain the status quo as to
nations of origins.
“The [proposed new]
distribution of limited quota immigration can have
no significant effect on the ethnic balance of the
United States,” and “the net increase attributable to
this bill would be at most 50,000 a year . . .”
“Our cities will not be flooded with a million
immigrants annually,” prophesied Senator Edward
Kennedy: “Under the proposed bill, the present
level of immigration remains substantially the
No one openly recommended what would
turn out to be the bill’s two chief results, increasing
the volume of immigration back to the million a
year range prior to 1920s restriction, or the idea
that it was time for the nation aspiring to lead the
world to be ethno-racially altered so as to resemble
that world rather than the nation that had grown
out of 13 British colonies augmented by African
This latter may be a splendid idea, the
grandest of the last half century.
We have yet to
seriously debate the wisdom of it, for when our
national craft was turned in that direction, there
was no discussion of the new course.
The Senate bill passed by a vote of 76 to 18, all but
two of the negative votes coming from southerners.
The South-West coalition of the 1920s had
The West abandoned the restrictionist
system it helped build forty years earlier and the
South, obsessively defending Jim Crow(seperation), was
politically isolated and on the losing side of every
Congress had decisively repudiated
the old system for managing immigration, replacing
it with what turned out to be an unpredictable and
radically new regime.
That older system had served
the nation well by inaugurating a needed and
popular restriction of immigration.
principles of selection had come under criticism as
world politics and domestic attitudes toward race
relations changed profoundly.
In the new system of
1965, an inherited factor, nationality, still
functioned as an element, but no nationalities had a
favored position at the outset.
Lyndon Johnson had
said, “We ought never to ask, “In what country
were you born?”
“, but of course we continued to
ask, and the answer could matter”.
could keep you out in any year that your nation’s
applicants exceeded 20,000, the limit for all
countries (after revisions made in 1976.)
“discrimination” was supposed to be thankfully
gone, since all nations could send some migrants
and the principles of selection did not at first
glance seem to have any direct connection to
To select those chosen for entry the
law established a new set of preference categories
that represented a major retreat from the historic
emphasis in American immigration policy on labor
market/skills criteria (only two of the seven in the
new system) and toward kinship relations said to
promote “family reunification” (four of the seven;
the last category was for refugees, 17,400 slots).
The national interest took a back seat, as selection
criteria were shifted strongly (70 per cent of the
total) toward the private, kinship interests of
citizens who had relatives abroad—or, recent
In any event, “discrimination” proved hard to
The new system, too, “discriminated,” as
Senator Ervin had predicted, but now “against”
citizens of western Europe and the British Isles,
including Ireland, “in favor of” Latin Americans and
Asians, because it gave special influence to kinship
– or, nepotism.
Ervin and a handful of others had
anticipated large population pressures from these
regions, and the North Carolina Senator prevailed
in the negotiations on one point, insisting that
western hemisphere immigration for the first time
be placed under a “cap” of 120,000 (the eastern
hemisphere quota was 170,000).
But the cap was
made in Congress, which meant that it was not a
cap, as it did not include spouses, minor children,
and parents of U.S. citizens.
With adoption of the Hart-Celler Immigration Act of
1965, legal immigration began a striking rise from
both Latin America and Asia.
In the decade of the
1970s, Europe and Canada sent 20% of legal
immigrants, Latin America and Asia 77%. This
reflected “push factors” of poverty below the
Mexican border and in Asia, whereas Europe
bustled with prosperity.
The new system clearly
favored those with family ties in the U.S., which
western Europeans and residents of the U.K. could
The new law also contained an unsuspected feature
that gave it a conveyor belt quality, soon called
Historian David Reimers has
adroitly sketched the process.
An Asian male comes
to the U.S. to study, gets Labor Department
certification allowing him to take a job, becomes an
official immigrant and then decides to “reunite his
To do this the simplest way would be to
return home, but instead he petitions under the
1965 law’s second preference for his wife and
children to join him.
The couple become citizens
and then petition for their parents and brothers and
sisters—all outside the numerical quotas.
brothers and sisters then petition for their own
spouses, children, parents and siblings.
example set out by Reimers, ten years after the
Asian student arrived, 19 persons have immigrated
to the U.S. “No wonder the 1965 Act came to be
called the brothers and sisters act,” Reimers
Such human chains, widening from our
original Asian male, were rarely formed after 1965
from the U.S. back to Western Europe or the U.K.,
as the original immigration chains were mostly old
Few parents or brothers and sisters of
American citizens remained in Naples or Dublin.
Rep. Emanuel Celler, one of the strongest
supporters of the 1965 law, was astonished by
what he called the “unintentional discrimination” of
the law he had co-sponsored.
attempted to increase special visas for Europe (jews) that
would not require family ties.
It is not recorded
whether or not Senator Ervin enjoyed the
The new system, like the old, was also flawed by its
Congress wrote immigration law as if its
judgments should endure for decades.
immigration is a labor flow that should be meshed
with the changing needs of the national economy,
and a demographic nation-shaper that should be
harnessed to national population goals.
Recognizing at least the former, Celler pressed for
restoration of a feature of Kennedy’s original bill,
an independent Immigration Board to recommend
annual readjustments of skills related preference
categories in light of changes in the economy.
good idea was lost in the shuffle.
The system was
not open to administrative realignment in response
to economic cycles or demographic trends.
it had been, family ties abroad greatly outweighed
skills needed in the U.S.
The law represented “the
transfer of policy control from the elected
representatives of the American people to
individuals wishing to bring relatives to this
country,” according to Senator Eugene McCarthy’s
rueful and later judgment: “Virtually all
immigration decisions today are made by private
“The bill that we will sign today,” said President
Johnson, “is not a revolutionary bill,” and “does not
affect the lives of millions.”
What it did, he
thought, was essentially moral and symbolic.
ends “the harsh injustice of the national origins
quota system” which was “a cruel and enduring
Journalist Theodore White
A week after the death of JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy summoned White to the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port to “rescue” her husband’s legacy. She proposed that White prepare an article for Life magazine drawing a parallel between her husband and his administration to King Arthur and the mythical Camelot. At the time, a play of that name was being performed on Broadway and Jackie focused on the ending lyrics of an Alan Jay Lerner song, “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.” White, who had known the Kennedys from his time as a classmate of the late President’s brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., was happy to oblige. He heeded some of Jackie’s suggestions while writing a 1,000 word essay that he dictated later that evening to his editors at Life. When they complained that the Camelot theme was overdone, Jackie objected to changes. By this telling, Kennedy’s time in office was transformed into a modern day Camelot that represented, “a magic moment in American history, when gallant men danced with beautiful women, when great deeds were done, when artists, writers, and poets met at the White House, and the barbarians beyond the walls held back.” Thus was born one of the nation’s most enduring, and inaccurate, myths. White later described his comparison of JFK to Camelot as the result of kindness to a distraught widow of a just-assassinated leader, and wrote that his essay was a “misreading of history. The magic Camelot of John F. Kennedy never existed.”
better interpretation, when, years later and with
hindsight, he called the new immigration law a
“noble, revolutionary — and probably the most
thoughtless of the many acts of the Great
But the 1965 Immigration Act was
not given much contemporary attention in a decade
of social upheaval and a war in Vietnam, was not
mentioned by Lyndon Johnson in his memoirs, and
is routinely allotted one or two sentences in history
This emphasis will change, and attention to the
1965 Immigration Act will grow, for White’s word
“revolutionary” identifies a demographic turning
point in American history.
With all due respect to
the epochal and invaluable changes made in
America when the Jim Crow system was killed by
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the passage of time
may position the 1965 immigration law as the
Great Society’s most nation-changing single act,
especially if seen as the first of a series of ongoing
liberalizations of U.S. immigration and border
policy extending through the end of the century
and facilitating four decades (so far) of mass
For the 1965 law, and subsequent
policy changes consistent with its expansionist
goals, shifted the nation from a population-
stabilization to a population-growth path, with far-
reaching and worrisome consequences.
words of Harvard sociologist Christopher Jencks,
this launched an ongoing “vast social experiment”
that conservatives inexplicably permit and liberals
inexplicably sustain against the interests and
sentiments of their working class base.