On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Nathan and Joanne consider the origins of illegal immigration and look at how the government’s deportation powers have grown over time.
On the heels of what may have been the biggest single-day sweep of undocumented immigrants last week in Mississippi, this week the Trump administration released a new "Public Charge" rule. The idea of a public charge – an individual who isn’t considered capable of self-sufficiency – became a part of U.S. immigration law after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The new rule will make it harder for immigrants who fail the public charge test to obtain a Green Card.
Efforts to curb immigration in the U.S. are nothing new. This episode from BackStory’s archives looks at the origins of illegal immigration and how the government’s deportation powers have grown over time.
Image: Detention pen--on roof of main building, Ellis Island, where emigrants held for deportation may go in fine weather. Circa 1902. Source: Library of Congress