tv Immigration Reform Act and Latinos CSPAN July 24, 2016 1:40pm-2:21pm EDT
and 10 thousands, a good road for their country. these men remember that. marching or flying. remember backing them up. families and friends who expect so much of them. of everynd women creed, speech, and color who made these planes, and backing them up the most powerful force in the world. the strength of the american people. ♪ >> next, howard university law discusses the effects of the immigration reform and control act of 1986 on latinos, specifically from mexico, guatemala, el salvador, and honduras. offeredes this reform
cheap labor services, primarily benefited men, and indirectly the caused a rise in illegal immigration. this was hosted by the historical society on the history of immigration. >> again, for those of you who are just joining us, my name is paul finkelman. i am the director for the symposium on immigration for the u.s. capital historical society. i am also the visiting professor of human rights law at the university of saskatchewan the moment. and it's a great pleasure to be and to work with the capital historical society, putting together this symposium hope all of you realizes a very historic room. there have been a number of
important hearings here. investigation into the sneaking of the -- into the sinking of the titanic took lace in this room. is the roomus this where the watergate hearings took place as well. that lists all of the major events. it is now called the kennedy caucus room in honor of these three senators from massachusetts, all of whom were brothers. next speaker is a professor at howard law school. did her undergraduate degree at the university of texas in austin, where she was a two major. she can law school and got a masters at georgetown law university. she teaches immigration law here in washington at howard. this is our local affiliation.
>> thank you. and good afternoon. i've been marveling at being in this room. dr. finkelman talking about what has happened in this room and how historical it is. very timely on this topic of immigration i couldn't help to think about the mexican american daughter of a farm worker is speaking to you today. it's pretty remarkable. i don't know who's turning over in his grave from me being here, but i am honored to be with doctors in this society. thank you to chuck for their incredible work in organizing this event which has been very interesting. i've learned quite a bit already
today. but i'm here today to speak about something a bit more contemporary to what we've heard, the 1986 simpson-mazolli act otherwise known as erka and the effects on latino and latina immigrants in the united states. so before i begin, i want to talk a little bit about terminology. when i refer to latino immigrants today, i'm speaking specifically about people from mexico and the central american countrys that make up what is known as the northern triangle which includes honduras, el salvador and guatemala. there are other countries in central and south america who send latinos to the united states. but i concentrate on migration and immigration patterns from those specific countries because immigrants from this country make up the vast majority of latino immigrants in the united states. as another preliminary note when speaking about this, it's important to acknowledge the history of the latinos are in the the history of the u.s. as united states expanded
westward in the 19th century and acquire these territories by fourth or by treaty. the people of the geographic lands remained ethnicically and racially hispanic or the ferm i use lies latin ovepl would they federalize immigration law attend of 19th century setting the counter stone for the current stage of completely federal immigration law. what was once poorest boreds became solidified and mortified. >> i'm native to this geography. admission and nip the united states. it's any other and cons to do. and that's through the increasingly compact system of immigration law that we have today. but in position a foreman border has not stopped the flow of immigrants. so in my fourth coming paper, i discuss the effects of erica
through a mistor cal and cri cal legal studies lens. but first i'll discuss the history of immigration and the important and undeniable intersections between immigration law and racial and ethnic formalized and informal discrimination it is vital to provide a brief review of the history prior to the package of
erica and its meet effects on the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants. while notes as i have here, the gendered implications of the legalization program. in shore, erka set the stage for continued gender discrimination by savering traditional male workforce that we're working in thing a cultural industries at the same time. next they'll provide a context .o a more contemporary time and the deferred action for parental accountability. in discussing latino immigrant migration, it is important to recognize the critical intersection between immigration trends and racial discrimination that historically has been a part of policy. the system of explicit and
informal discrimination in many ways set the stage. to be sure we have heard a bit about this today, the history of immigration in law and policy is a history of discrimination. at its earliest federal immigration developed as part -- developed in part to chinese immigration. with the intent to stop the flow of the chinese people into the united states. case, the united states supreme court upheld congressional power to restrict .he immigration chinese immigrants were initially welcomed in the west coast or at least tolerated as they provided cheaper and dentures labor for the railroad and gold-mining industry. as they began to compete with u.s. citizens for jobs and assert themselves more permanently in u.s. citizens and
communities, as the court noted, the consequent irritation, proportionally better by open conflicts to the great disturbance of the public peace. in part because of this presence having an laborer effect on the material interests of the state and upon public morals. and a menace to our civilization. though they were shocking in racismson, this formal and immigration law continued throughout the 19th and 20th century, targeting asian, latino, and african american immigrants while protecting immigration from western and northern europe. example, attempting to stymie immigration people of color.
of 1924gration act created a national origin quota system. to know more than 2% of noncitizens from that country who are represented in the 1890 u.s. census. they intended to find immigration in western and northern european stocks, and to slow down the immigration from southern and eastern european countries. this explicit preference for northern european and white immigrants in you through much of the 20th century, with the belief that white immigrants would more easily assimilate to a dominant american culture, policies regarding immigration and naturalization were centered on prioritizing white people and ostracizing immigrants of color. these pervasive efforts to keep out immigrants of color
manifested in various ways, including the targeting of latino immigrants. especially mexicans who constituted the majority of latino -- during the great depression, mexican immigrants, many of whom who had come to the united states to work in agricultural and other manual labor jobs that were left vacant were deported in record numbers. having received temporary lawful , whichs -- lawful status operated from 1924 until its formal and of 1964 millions of mexican immigrants where forcibly removed at various points during the option of the program and that the programs end. many deport were actually u.s. citizens. further, the fervor against latino immigration in the 1960's. particularly directed at mexicans at this point. was emphasized by court
decisions which scurebnally upelledelt it. it's based on an apparent mexican ancestry. they targeted the 'em ployment of undocuments systems. so as we learned the immigration act of 1965 finally repealed if it's quota system which has effectively prohibited the provision. by that time immigration law and policy had already created a solid system of discrimination against immigrants of color. such that discriminatory effects continue you. some change. the dem grambing may wake up. the end of the national origin quota system change the democratic system a cup and increasing the number of asian and latino immigrants. laws both in the
historical record and more contemporary times. 19 i-5mple the ina of restricted the number of people who could migrate from the western hemisphere to only 120,000 individuals per year. it was part of a compromise to those that fear a dramatic upswing in latin american immigration. generous treatment of latin americans. act ofr the immigration 1965 and 1976 amendment imposed an annual immigration limit of 20 dozen people from each foreign country. immigrants from certain developing countries like mexico, the philippines, india. at the ceiling pertain to mexicans, the 20,000 person work limit drastically reduce mexican immigration at the time.
at the time of the 1976 amendment to this act, president gerald ford predicted ill effects on mexican migration. he said i'm concerned about one aspect of the legislation, which has effect of reducing illegal andurrently 40,000 natives this legislation would cut the number in half. would push for legislative reform to change this and increased the immigration ceiling. getting legislation pushed through congress was not successful. soon after president jimmy carter followed through with johnson's idea and proposed legislation to raise the ceiling of the number of mexican immigrants who could migrate and to establish a legalize asian program for undocumented immigrants already in the united states. ongress did not legislate the proposal but congress and the administration created what was called the select commission
on immigration and refugee evaluateo study and the existing laws and procedures. the committee eventually gave its report and recommendation to the newly elected president ronald reagan. the committee reported on the estimated tree million undocumented immigrants working in the united states, which appear really struck a chord with president reagan, who saw the problem of undocumented collectives one of power rate -- active power labor demand. ofustrating the importance regularizing the immigration status of these americans. about theme wonder illegal alien fuss.
are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do? no regulation or law should be for lack of harvesters. up theis idea of opening labor market for an overall american prosperity, reagan pushed what will become irca. the first iteration of which was introduced in 1982 and finally passed in 1986 with heavy bipartisan support in both the house and the senate. reagan applauded the new legislation. future generations of americans will be thankful for our effort. the principal components continue to target latino immigrants. irca's ought to determine new wave of undocumented immigrants from central american countries who were fleeing violence and
political turmoil and were seeking employment in the low skill industries of the united states, which continue to flourish after the end of the program. indeed -- number one creating strict prohibitions against employers, hiring undocumented people. measures, enforcement sort of the precursor to this very strict border regime. recognizing the large number of undocumented workers who were doing a job that americans won't do. irca would have widespread and long-term effects on immigration, which continue to reverberate in the trends of central american migration. they did provide legal programs, including one for undocumented
agricultural workers. is onealization program of many historical examples of legalization or of other circles that other people might call it, amnesty. this is particularly poignant today in the current era of that provide status to undocumented minors, indy -- u.s. citizens and children. we should hear about soon. among other provisions are cut dictated that the spectral agricultural -- the special agricultural workers can work in for 90 days ines seasonal agricultural services between may 1985 and may 1986. this provision did not require that the seasonal agricultural
workers remain in the labor pool. professor -- has written, the proponents of the program anticipated many would do so, thereby guaranteeing a cheap labor force. moreover they continued a more general legalization provision, which stipulated certain undocumented immigrants which had been residing in the united states since january 1982 could position for an 18 month long temporary resident status. this could then lead to permanent resident status upon meeting certain eligibility requirements, including lack of a felony conviction and a missed ration of a minimal understanding of the english language. this provision had incredible demographic effects. allowed almost 3 million undocumented immigrants to become lawful permanent resident's. a truly incredible program that amounted to 80% of the estimated total undocumented
population becoming lawful permanent residents. some measured about 60% through 80%. broadscale reform programs, especially one that provide legalization to the undocumented, this provision had its share of critics. were that these beneficiaries were skirting the traditional mode of acquiring the status. -- that the program regarding how immigrants could or should regularize their status. no provisions in the legalization program that extended this lawful status to family members of the members for the beneficiaries, who might otherwise have been in eligible. lack ofed this eligibility for dependence was a critique ofirca. as i and others have written,
a agricultural worker provision disproportionately benefited men. undocumented women who worked outside of the home on the other hand often held jobs in domestic industries and were in eligible forthe irca provision agricultural workers. as professor margaret mendelson notes, no equivalent provision was available for nannies and house cleaners which are -- predominately female positions. she writes further about gender bias. that worked well for men who were more likely to work in steady jobs. access to that is less accessible to women. in fact, she continues that the
very access to information about ca process was gendered as workers have less access to information who work in the home. legal provisions themselves, as well as the information and institutional access to utilize them were less available to women and the counterparts. the result was a law that disproportionately granted legalization to men. largely men from central america. the male beneficiaries were followed by a big wave of wives and girlfriends. thus, immigrant women's dependence on their male spouses and family members for their own d.wful status was concretize
so, the lock of lawful status for dependents was a reason why undocumented immigrants continued to migrate to the united states. although irca had the immediate effect of reducing the illegal population, the undocumented immigrant population rose dramatically in the 1990's. a record number continued to migrate to the united states with the highest estimate between 2005 and 2007. according to a pew research center report, the number of undocumented citizens reached a -- 2007, with an
increase of 4 million people since the legalization program 20 years prior. although one purpose of irca was to stem the migration of latinos, the opposite occurred. wait long periods for family-based visa petitions, family members simply joined irca members in the united states. this community of beneficiaries joined the visa pool with their applications which began a long hill backlog that continues to this day. although not with as severe wait times now as in previous times. lack of family member provisions provoked this. others have noted that the increase was also in part two
-- due to other issues. addressed to the employment of undocumented ankers, there was not efficient protocol for an identity verification system and employment document verifications in the law. provided irca important work authorization. the majority of whom were latinos but it also put it in motion increased migration from those four countries. a trend that only recently slowed. current migration trends illustrate the continuing effects of irca. first, i note the number of undocumented immigrants is held at about static numbers now and have declined since the height of about 12 million people in 2007.
>> [indiscernible] i just said.t i'm sorry. you probably can't see the details of this chart. i was not sure what the setup was when to be like today. this is a chart from the pew research center. it notes the pinnacle of immigrant population at 2007 and then holding static for the last two years. it has actually been declining. this next chart, you can see pretty convincingly the migration of mexicans. again, the pinnacle around early 2000, and then declines steadily in more recent years. so, this steep drop in the number of mexican immigrants, including the undocumented population at this time.
since 2009, the pew research center words about 250,000 new unauthorized immigrants each year. of these about 100,000 are muchican, which is a smaller share than in past years. they used to represent about half. the general demographic data from 2012 for example suggests that 81% hail from these same four countries. mexico accounting for a majority of that percentage and mexican immigrants continue to be the largest number of foreign-born people in the united states, both lawful and undocumented. what does that say about ircla legislation. they are less likely to be recent than in past decades. they joined at the time of irca or in waves. the pew research center estimates that the number of adults who lived have gone from 35% of the population to 62% in
2012. only 15% have lived in the u.s. for less than five years. that is compared with 38% in 2000. the peoplends are with undocumented status are here for decades. they become well established and have children and families of the room. children, who if they are born in the united states, are united states citizens. estimates show that back in 2000, 30% of the undocumented adult children lived with the children. by 2012, that number was up 38%.
this is one example of the phenomena and of mixed status families. meaning some family members have lawful status and others are in undocumented status. administration's daca program -- it would allow citizenship for children, it speaks to this issue of the mixed status family. to avoid deportation of parents who have been here for decades, it would afford some measure of safety from immediate deportation. for minor children who are here on undocumented status, perhaps the came with undocumented parents or came to rejoin family. or perhaps they came other own. the obama administration created
program, deferred action for childhood program. it would give the beneficiaries lawful status and some at least temporary assurances of long as -- assurances against deportation as long as they remained eligible. the program was an offshoot of the dream act. which i call the dream act dream, because it was proposed but never went anywhere. it was proposed in congress for 11 years. it failed for 11 years. the dream act would have provided a pathway to lawful status for certain young undocumented people had they met eligibility requirements. undocumented people. each of those programs that did not rise to the level of the program in 19 86.
the program and considering lessons that we can learn when creating new comprehensive immigration reform, it is imperative that long-term repercussions be considered. at particular, the lesson that immigration policy is not of the individual but of the family. if we create a pathway to reopen this golden door, we need to make sure that the passage is wide enough or families and other beneficiaries. to quote ronald reagan, this champion of legalization for undocumented immigrants -- i wish i could do an impression -- i have spoken of the shining city. i don't know if i ever quite communicated what i saw. in my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger
than oceans -- thank you. [applause] yes, sir. correctly, your mentioned at the peak, the undocumented numbers was 12 million and now it is down to 7 million. >> yes. well, now the estimates are about 11 million. the peak of mexican immigrants was 7 million, just mexican undocumented. >> the trade-off was employer sanctions.
it never worked. can you explain why that program failed? >> many have said that it was put in place but the implementing was never fully borne out. nobody really thought through the details enough that it became much more complicated. how do you verify identity, for example? people said it was easy to create fraudulent documents. the idea was there but the implementing regulation was not. we are still struggling with how to create some sort of documentation system that is
effective. >> are there any statistics on the gender division between 11 million undocumented immigrants? >> i'm sure they are that i don't know. i apologize. i don't want to give out an incorrect number. what i can say is that the people who are left undocumented tended to be women. we have seen an increase in women. if anyone remembers the senate
bill that tried and tried but never did. it passed the senate and died in the house. in actually had something akin level legalization programs, or at least a pathway to programs. part, some people say -- although i wrote an article that critiques this, some people say there was more he paid to including women and those sorts of provisions. others said they would not have done enough to say women
qualified at the same levels as them. yes, sir. >> i am taken by that marvelous quote of ronald reagan. can you tell the context and from the theme of the quote is reagan continued to espouse an open immigration policy? >> he was a big champion of irca in 1986. -- he wanted the congress to pass it. with flourish, right? he continued to talk about it up until the time he left office. the hallmark of a success of his administration. i find interesting in more contemporary times, when people talk about what reagan meant. i said, mentioned today, irca,
what were the long-term effects? he was a champion of it. he was proud of having signed the provision. >> wasn't that statement consistent with his speech before the berlin wall? tear down that wall. politicians are not always consistent -- >> they are not? [laughter] >> this speaks to me of his integration -- of his indignation about the wall. preventing people who wanted to cross the border from doing so. >> if we had to have walls, make sure they are big enough. i have never thought about those two analogies.
says by this is the last. >> ok. >> since you are talking about immigration of women, can you comment on the current numbers and, you know, some people say flood -- i don't know if that is the word -- of women and children crossing the border from the northern triangle. >> sure. interesting that you use that word. my most recent article is coming out now. it talks about women and , howren, and in particular the government detains them, puts mothers and children in jail, immigrants in jail. sort of this gendered perspective of women. what i talk about specifically what i talk about specifically is how our rhetoric of immigration has changed so
profoundly in the last 30 years. we have the most formidable of -- vulnerable of people who are fleeing violence. it is the way in which we respond to them. the retest the way they are supposed to be reaching us. that is what asylum law is all about. it is interesting to note how this gender perspective doesn't favor the person here. thank you very much. [applause] >> interested in american history tv? visit our website -- www.c-span.org/history. you can watch a recent program.
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