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The passage of landmark immigration legislation in 1965 marked the beginning of the largest sustained wave of immigration in America’s history. This immigration surge, however, was not the first. Immigration surged in the decades leading up to the American Civil War and again starting in the 1880s before being curtailed by war and then by restrictive legislation in the 1920s. Large-scale immigration such as this has important implications for the social, political, and economic conditions in the United States. One widely overlooked implication is the economic harm imposed on Black Americans.
In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, discusses the connection between immigration policy, the labor market, and the economic progress of Black Americans. Beck highlights some of the key points made in his new book, “Back of the Hiring Line: A 200-year history of immigration surges, employer bias, and depression of Black wealth”.