MHS Calendar of Events
Since 1965, U.S. political and social discourse about immigration has been dominated by concerns over undocumented immigration, a legal and social category understood to apply almost exclusively to non-white immigrants. This panel will examine a now obscure part of twentieth century immigration history: the migration of unauthorized white Europeans. The session will complicate current understandings of the period to demonstrate that early in the twentieth century southern and eastern European immigrants were in fact stigmatized as “criminals” and “illegals.” However by mid-century, southern and eastern Europeans were able to draw upon their social and political capital to change public perceptions and state policies. Legal status provided relief from the threat of deportation or exclusion – and reinforced the racialized category of undocumented immigrant. These papers will bring the stories to light of these “other” illegal immigrants and reinsert them into the conversations and policy debates surrounding unauthorized immigration.
The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.
Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.close