By Tyler Anbinder
Underpinning President Donald Trump’s recent ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries is the belief that these immigrants are fundamentally different than those who came to the United States in the past. An unsentimental look at the history of American immigrants, however, shows that the banned immigrants are not fundamentally different from Americans’ foreign-born grandparents, great-grandparents, or even great-great-great-grandparents.
By Meredith Oyen
The Sydney Morning Herald and Vox.com agree that the recent dispute between Beijing and Taipei over a deportation decision by Kenya is nothing short of “bizarre.” Though the decision to deport Taiwanese nationals to China might seem strange on the surface, it in fact is deeply rooted in history.
A few weeks ago the European Union (EU) signed a controversial agreement with Turkey to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe. The agreement is a testament to Europe’s failure to cope with the millions of refugees who have reached its shores from Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East over the past few years. This crisis seems unprecedented, but is it? The German Historical Institute took up this issue the other evening, hosting a fascinating panel discussion titled “Learning from the Past?
By Sarah Fenton
Suggest that the United States is a nation of immigrants and you’ll find wide-ranging agreement. Suggest that the current US immigration system is broken: again, nods all around. Now suggest some ways to fix that system. Try proposing, for instance, a possible route forward for the 11 million people—young, old, and every age in between—living in the United States without authorization. Watch consensus crumble.
The theme of this year’s AHA annual meeting, held in Atlanta, was “Global Migrations: Empires, Nations, and Neighbors.”
Last spring Nisha Agarwal, the New York City commissioner on immigration, spoke to my students at Columbia University on the recent history of immigrants in New York City.
By Lauren Stokes
I just arrived in Germany for a short research trip about the regulation of family migration in West Germany. While I review West German attempts to curb migration from Turkey in the early 1980s, history gallops on outside of the archives. Angela Merkel visited Turkey this weekend in order to discuss how to tighten border controls; Henriette Reker was elected the first female mayor of Cologne on Sunday after being stabbed because of her pro-refugee stance on Saturday; and on an everyday level, local municipalities are struggling to process the new arrivals, relying on the volunteer labor of both Germans and refugees to create shelter and stability.
By now, two full years into graduate training and with two research summers under my belt, I have conducted a good number of oral histories. All are challenging in their own way, but the most emotionally challenging by far has been the one I conducted with my father this past summer.