Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary

Timeline of Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary

This timeline offers one centralized resource where you can situate the different events and moments discussed in the book in chronological order. Some readers may find this helpful, since the book is organized by the themes of bans, walls, and raids, rather than chronology. The timeline also serves to help unwind the overlapping histories of race and immigration and situate them in their broader historical contexts, like the Tribal Twenties, World War II, and the era of neoliberalism. It can be used alongside the book as a teaching resources for traditional classrooms, community-based teach-ins or workshops, and so on. ;xNLx; ;xNLx;If you would like to submit additional events to the timeline or have other suggestions to make it more useful, please feel free to contact me.

1790-07-04 15:21:01

Naturalization Act

In its early years as a new nation, the United States did not restrict immigration. The nation needed new immigrants to colonize and settle the territory, removing Indigenous people to take thier land. The U.S. had to alienate Indigenous people from the land in order to seize it. One mechanism to achieve this removal is the 1790 Naturalization Act, which reserved naturalized citizenship strictly to the "free white person." It excluded African-descended enslaved people and even Indigenous people born outside U.S. territory. The Act speaks to the white racial identity that has remained at the core of the U.S. settler society. See page 22

1798-07-04 15:21:01

Alien and Sedition Acts

In the late 18th century, the U.S. feared an ensuing war with France. In this context, it passed this suite of laws targeting immigrants, justified by fears that foreign-born people would infiltrate and plot against the government. These acts authorized the president to deport foreign-born people "dangerous to the peace and safety." We will see this pattern repeat over time, for example in the slew of laws and policies passed in the wake of September 11th attacks. See page 78.

1821-07-04 15:21:01

Santa Fe Trail


1830-07-04 15:21:01

Indian Removal Act

The Indian Removal Act authorized the president to negotiate with Indigenous nations to move from their lands in the southeastern United States, desired by white settlers, to territories west of the Mississippi River. The act paved the way for the Trails of Tears that forcibly removed thousands of Indigenous people off their ancestral lands and lifeways, many dying on the arduous journey. This Act also set ah historical precedent for the forced deportations of noncitizens from the United States. Plenary power, the expansive power over people within, but not of the U.S., connects the histories of Indigenous people subject to forced removal and noncitizens subject to deportations. See pages 79, 137.

1846-07-04 15:21:01

Mexican American War

In the mid-19th century, the United States was driven by the ideology of Manifest Destiny—that the United States was destined by God to expand westward, spreading its civilization, government, and capitalism all the way to Pacific Ocean. President James Polk spoke in terms of the “destiny of the race” and the “march of civilization.” Motivated by this ideology, the United States set its sights on Mexico. It first unsuccessfully attempted to purchase lands in northern Mexico, but ultimately waged war. As victor, the United States seized more than 500,000 square miles of Mexican territory, including the present-day states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. The Mexican-American War is also intersectional. It involves Indigenous history and the history of slavery. Mexico had invited white settlers into Texas to defend their settler society against Indigenous peoples and against U.S. incursions. But when Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, white settlers and slave owners revolted against the government and won independence in the Texas Revolution in 1836. Independent Texas further stoked U.S. desires for western Mexican lands, eventually leading to the Mexican-American War.

1863-07-04 15:21:01

Emancipation Proclamation

Signed by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the U.S. Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation symbolically freed enslaved people in Confederate states.

1868-07-04 15:21:01

Burlingame Treaty

This treaty established amicable relations between the United States and China, giving China most favored nation status in terms of trade while also providing Chinese people open immigration to and travel within the United States. Chinese migration to the United States, promoted by industrial capitalists for this source of lower cost labor, increased in the wake of the treaty.

1868-07-04 15:21:01

14th Amendment

Adopted in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War, the 14th Amendment granted birthright citizenship and equal protection under the law. It stands alongside the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, except as punishment for a crime, and the 15th Amendment, which granted the right to vote regardless of race. Birthright citizenship would be contested not only for Black people, but also for Indigenous and Asian people born in U.S. territory.

1870-07-04 15:21:01

Naturalization Act

This act offered the right of naturalization to African descended people and denied it to Asian immigrants.

1875-07-04 15:21:01

Page Act

The Page Act was the first immigration ban. "The 1875 Page Act, the first federal law to restrict immigration, barred the entry of anyone accused of prostitution or “lewd and immoral behavior,” a decidedly ill-defined category. Immigration inspectors transformed this prohibition into a general ban on Chinese women by equating them with immoral sexual behavior and sex work, even as they allowed men to enter (their labor being needed in the U.S. West). This ban—racial and gendered—separated women and children from migrant men for decades." (page 23).

Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary

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