50 Years Ago, Immigration Changed in America

Immigration is one of the hottest topics in the 2016 presidential campaign, generating angry debate over whether to deport millions of people who entered the U.S. illegally or grant them some form of amnesty, andwhether to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. But the history of the current furor goes back 50 years, to one of the most far-reaching laws ever enacted in the country: the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. A review of that law and its impact provides many lessons for today, notably that substantial change can be a very lengthy process and “reform” can have huge, unforeseen consequences.

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