The U.S. government’s policies regarding immigration have historically reflected prevailing racial and cultural biases held by Americans with the most power. Therefore, the successes and failures of the Civil Rights movement, in its impact on American consciousness, directly influenced the immigrant experience in America.
The traditional time line for the Civil Rights movement is 1954-1965 or 1968, beginning with the Supreme Court’s
From 1910 through 1930, more than one million
The large numbers of African Americans in northern cities during the 1950’s and 1960’s facilitated southern blacks’ battle against Jim Crow laws because of northern blacks’ proximity to one another and capacity to organize visibly as well as their newfound electoral clout. During this period, many organizations formed with the intention of ending racial discrimination and promoting equality for all American citizens. Groups such as the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference registered black voters, staged sit-ins and marches, and attempted to integrate racially segregated spaces. Three major legal victories were claimed by civil rights activists: The Supreme Court’s
Countryman, Matthew J. Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. Examines how the groups most affected by the failure of civil rights liberalism coped in post-World War II Philadelphia. Graham, Hugh Davis. Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Examines how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Immigration Act of 1965 eventually came into conflict with each other as immigrants and African Americans competed for jobs. Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd. “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past.” Journal of American History 91, no. 4 (March, 2005): 1233-1263. A groundbreaking and widely respected article that challenges the traditional frameworks of Civil Rights movement historiography. Johnson, Kevin R. The “Huddled Masses” Myth: Immigration and Civil Rights. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004. Focuses on how discrimination has influenced U.S. legislation regarding immigration by examining the exclusion of groups deemed unfavorable due to sexual orientation, disabilities, political beliefs, race, and so on. Pulido, Laura. Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. Pulido examines African American, Japanese American, and Chicano interracial relationships in Southern California during the 1960’s and 1970’s as these groups struggled for equality. Sugrue, Thomas. Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North. New York: Random House, 2008. Sugrue studies the Civil Rights movement in the North, where close to one million African Americans migrated during the Great Migration and competed with immigrants for housing and employment. Varzally, Allison. Making a Non-White America: Californians Coloring Outside Ethnic Lines, 1925-1955. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008. Considers how various immigrant and native-born groups competed and aligned in diverse California neighborhoods during the early years of the Civil Rights movement.
African Americans and immigrants
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Commission on Civil Rights, U.S.
Japanese American Citizens League
Lau v. Nichols
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Sei Fujii v. State of California