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The INS on the LineMaking Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954$
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S. Deborah Kang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199757435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757435.001.0001

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Making the Local National

Making the Local National

(p.114) 5 Making the Local National
The INS on the Line

S. Deborah Kang

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 recounts how one local immigration official, Grover C. Wilmoth, El Paso district director of the INS, played a pivotal role in defining and advancing the enforcement priorities of the INS among politicians and policymakers in Washington, DC. In an effort to create a semblance of order out of the disorder of the Bracero Program, Wilmoth lobbied Congress for legislation that would bolster the agency’s ability to pursue and apprehend undocumented immigrants in public and private spaces far north of the border. In addition, he was an active participant in President Truman’s Commission on Migratory Labor. Best known as an expose of the humanitarian crises facing migrant workers in the United States, the commission, thanks to Wilmoth’s contributions, also presented one of the first national expositions of a strong immigration enforcement policy for the US–Mexico border.

Keywords:   immigration law enforcement, border enforcement, undocumented immigration, migratory labor, President’s Commission on Migratory Labor, Bracero Program, warrantless arrests, car searches

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