The 1929 Law That Turned Undocumented Entry Into a Crime

By Treating Migrants as Felons, the Undesirable Aliens Act Reinforced a Punitive Approach to Unauthorized Immigration

Too often, discussions of modern immigration policy are ahistorical, focusing on recent events while ignoring the past policies that led us, as a country, to where we are today.

That’s especially true when undocumented immigrants are characterized as criminals—often merely on the basis of their legal immigration status. This rhetoric isn’t new—it has long been used to justify immigration crackdowns. But the framing of unauthorized migration as illegal does have an origin point: a little-known law in 1929.

The law—Senate Bill 5094, also known as the Undesirable Aliens Act—was notable because it …

Why the Tent City for Children Is a Concentration Camp

The Mass Detention of Civilians Without Trial Is a Modern Military Tactic That Targets the Most Vulnerable

What does it mean that the United States of America is taking children from their parents and detaining them in camps?

News of a tent city dedicated to holding children …

The U.S.-Mexico Border Is Booming

Forget about the Asian Tigers and Benelux. The Next Economic Powerhouse Is Where the North and South Converge

Mexico is becoming a vibrant middle-class nation. Already, it is the largest trading partner of California, Texas and Arizona, and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs across the …

Home Is Where the Border Is

Living in the Space Between Two Countries Forces You to Rethink Your Definition of Community

As soon as I spot the rows of palm trees lining Highway 77, I know I’ve arrived home. That’s the point where I roll down my windows to feel the …

When Kids Crossed the Border with the U.S. Government’s Help

In the 1960s, Operation Pedro Pan Brought Children Like Me Out of an Unstable Cuba

The images in recent weeks of minors crossing the border, unaccompanied and scared, fleeing violence and uncertain futures in their home countries, many seeking their relatives already in the United …

What’s Happening at the Border Is a Humanitarian Crisis, Not a Political One

The Thousands of Children Fleeing Central America Have Nothing to Do With Our Ongoing Debate Over Immigration

Less than 48 hours after the nation collectively chanted “USA!” for the national soccer team in the World Cup last week, a much smaller group of Americans in Murrieta, California, …