A group of Puerto Ricans at Newark airport, who just arrived by plane from Puerto Rico waiting to be transported to New York, 1947

How Migrant Labor Policies Shaped a Latino Identity

When Puerto Rican and Mexican workers came to the U.S. in large numbers, they faced similar discrimination and bigotry.
Bhagat Singh Thind in his U.S. Army Uniform, 1918

How “Prerequisite Cases” Tried to Define Whiteness

A law of 1790 said that only "free white persons" were eligible to be naturalized. But courts struggled for years afterward to tell who was white at all.
Kimberlé Crenshaw

Kimberlé Crenshaw’s Intersectional Feminism

Legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw broke new ground by showing how women of color were left out of feminist and anti-racist discourse.
Khmer Rouge guerilla accepts a gift of cigarettes from a waiting French official, May, 1975.

How the Vietnam War Shaped U.S. Immigration Policy

The makings of our modern resettlement system can be traced back to the fallout of the Vietnam War, a cascade of international crises stoked by the U.S.

21 Savage and “Deported Americans”

Rapper 21 Savage’s deportation battle highlights an important aspect of contemporary immigration policy that is often overlooked.
Wedding rings on an American flag

How Love Transformed American Immigration Law

Love was a deciding factor in the expansion of Asian immigration to the United States, via laws that emerged from Congress in the 1960s.
why US states have straight borders

Why Are U.S. Borders Straight Lines?

The ever-shifting curve of shoreline and river is no match for the infinite, idealized straight line.
statue of liberty public charge

The Problem with “Public Charge” Rules

Historically, public charge rules have been a threat to immigrants dismissed as too disabled to be full contributors to the country.
Birthright citizenship

Birthright Citizenship Basics

Birthright citizenship, which holds that individuals are citizens of the nation in which they are born, was codified with the 14th Amendment in 1868.
ProPublica child detention center recording

The Cries Heard Around the World

ProPublica's audio of crying children in detention centers touched a nerve. Humans are keenly attuned to the sounds of crying, in part because of evolution.