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Immigration ReconsideredHistory, Sociology, and Politics$
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Virginia Yans-McLaughlin

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780195055108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195055108.001.0001

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The Reactions of Black Americans to Immigration

The Reactions of Black Americans to Immigration

(p.293) 10 The Reactions of Black Americans to Immigration
Immigration Reconsidered

Lawrence H. Fuchs

Oxford University Press

Labor and the unemployed frequently opposed the “back-door” policies on the grounds that imported labor would diminish their own opportunities. This was the case, as this chapter shows, with black leaders who supported restrictive legislation. For some Americans, the battle over restriction implied a control of national identity and of the nature of their political life. The discussion here shows that men like Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington were restrictionists, a position only recently abandoned by North American black leaders when they formed a coalition with Mexican-Americans regarding the 1986 immigration reform legislation. It implies that Afro-American political leaders see their reversal and attempts at coalition building as a means to win support among recent black immigrant groups, as a civil rights program, and as a potential basis for future continuing coalitions with Hispanic groups.

Keywords:   black leaders, immigration, Booker T. Washington, discrimination, Booker Washington, Frederick Douglass, back-door policy

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