Immigration Through the Lens of Systemic Racism

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski


Immigration has been a hot button concern that has fueled national discord since the 1800s, and the scaffolding that sustains racism in American society has played an integral part in the lives of many immigrants, particularly immigrants of color. This chapter defines immigration and describes the context of systemic racism in the establishment of immigration policies. It reviews the history of immigration in the USA and discusses significant laws that have impacted immigration, with emphasis on those directed at people of color. A discussion of the context of immigration examines the push and pull dynamic and the influence of transnationalism. The chapter also traces the operation of systematic racism as it is manifest in the experience of new immigrants who are confronted with the uniquely American construction of race when they enter the USA and who, consequently, are considered to be members of one of the four core groups: First Nation Peoples, Mexicans, African, and Chinese. This chapter ends by examining US immigration trends in terms of race.


Immigration Systemic racism Immigration laws Push and pull theory Transnationalism Immigrant trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
    • 1
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
    • 2
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston College School of Social WorkChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Simmons College School of Social WorkBostonUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsBostonUSA

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