Perspectives series examines ‘Who Can Become an American? U.S. Immigration Policy, Racism and Civil Rights Struggle in the 20th Century’

The “Legacies of Racism in American Culture” series will return with at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 via Zoom (Meeting ID: 998 4330 8081, Passcode: 441316). Laila Ballout, Wichita State assistant professor of history, will present on the subject while Andrew Hippisley, dean, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will host the event.

During this edition, the U.S. immigration laws that define which peoples of the world should be admitted to the United States and who should be barred or limited from living, working or becoming citizens will be discussed. These laws have consistently reflected the ideas about race and ethnicity held by the policymakers who create them.

This talk will also examine a few major examples of the legacies of racism in U.S. immigration law, including Asian exclusion, quota systems, the impact of the civil rights movement of the 1960s,  the ways that race is still a factor in the colorblind, and the U.S. immigration policies that took shape after 1965.

Ballout’s work focuses on citizen activism in the U.S. relationship with the Middle East, especially by considering immigrant and diaspora activism and the role of religion in U.S. engagement with the region. She is currently working on her book “Saving Lebanon: American and Lebanese Activism for Intervention in the Lebanese Civil War, 1975-1990.”