Title

Illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America into the United States: a history

Subject Area

Minorities and Multicultural Issues

Abstract

The issue of illegal immigration looms large in the political rhetoric of a country where its ethnic, social, political, and economic makeup is seen as a result of a melting pot of cultures and nationalities that ultimately inform its identity as a “nation of immigrants”. Just like then, the process of cultural and demographic maturation of the nation today is deeply intertwined with the presence of so many among us who do not enjoy the same legal rights as natural-born citizens, but whom by no means are lesser individuals.

Providing a historical framework for this problem is thus fundamental to contextualize the matter of contention that arises from it, as well as to shed light on possible paths for its solution – by way of a historical perspective that we often lack.

As the process of different peoples coming together constituting the current demographic anatomy of the country has not always been pacific and without struggle, it is imperative to outline the backdrop of the overall immigration fluxes into the United States as a basis to more appropriately isolate the phenomenon of unauthorized immigration which is of particular interest herein.

In this light, I propose to present a brief history of illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America into the United States. In the process, I will also succinctly delve into either immigration at large, or illegal immigration from third nations – but only whenever they relate to the particular phenomenon of the surreptitious crossing of the United States southern border.

Brief Bio Note

After obtaining a graduate degree from the University of North Carolina, Pedro Lopes has taught in different regions in the United States and in Europe. His research interests focus on the human experience within society, and has a particular interest in the issue of illegal immigration into the United States.

Keywords

Illegal immigration, United States, Mexico, Central America, history

Location

Room 218

Presentation Year

March 2017

Start Date

3-23-2017 9:55 AM

Embargo

11-4-2016

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Mar 23rd, 9:55 AM

Illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America into the United States: a history

Room 218

The issue of illegal immigration looms large in the political rhetoric of a country where its ethnic, social, political, and economic makeup is seen as a result of a melting pot of cultures and nationalities that ultimately inform its identity as a “nation of immigrants”. Just like then, the process of cultural and demographic maturation of the nation today is deeply intertwined with the presence of so many among us who do not enjoy the same legal rights as natural-born citizens, but whom by no means are lesser individuals.

Providing a historical framework for this problem is thus fundamental to contextualize the matter of contention that arises from it, as well as to shed light on possible paths for its solution – by way of a historical perspective that we often lack.

As the process of different peoples coming together constituting the current demographic anatomy of the country has not always been pacific and without struggle, it is imperative to outline the backdrop of the overall immigration fluxes into the United States as a basis to more appropriately isolate the phenomenon of unauthorized immigration which is of particular interest herein.

In this light, I propose to present a brief history of illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America into the United States. In the process, I will also succinctly delve into either immigration at large, or illegal immigration from third nations – but only whenever they relate to the particular phenomenon of the surreptitious crossing of the United States southern border.