Write an essay about the history of the criminalization of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Your essay should include a discussion of the 1921 and 1924 Immigration Acts that Mae Ngai writes about in “The Strange Career”; why and when ICE was created, how and why Trump “radicalized” it (Franklin Foer); and how it operates today, including 287G, for-profit detention centers, and refugee policy and practice (“Immigration Nation,” New Yorker Radio Hour, and “On the Media”). Your essay should include a discussion of historical continuity. While it may be tempting to say that everything changed once Trump (or Biden) became president, we have learned that there is often more continuity than change. For example, while the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924 do represent structural change in immigration law (as does 9/11) what does the historian Tom Wong say in the OTM podcast (2nd link below) about immigrants seeking asylum at the border?
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