Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America

By Jennifer Hochschild; Vesla Weaver et al. | Go to book overview

2
Immigration

Blacks are the central metaphor for otherness and oppression in the United
States…. [But] we’re in the United States and [from our perspective] blacks
are Americans. They’re Anglos…. They’re Anglos of a different color, but
they’re Anglos.
—Jorgé Klor de Alva

Being a Latina immigrant can be difficult—especially these days, when
immigration is such a controversial issue. There are some people who treat
me poorly once they hear my accent; they are angry at Hispanics, thinking we
have taken away their job opportunities. But they are the exception, and
overall I love being an American. I love the fast pace of this culture, the ability
to do a million things at once, and most of all, the sense that there are infinite
possibilities out there—all you have to do is grab hold of the one you want.
—A student

When do I just get to be American? Why do I always have to carry the
burden of my ancestors’ origins when I have nothing to do with them?
—A student

IMMIGRATION is DESTABILIZING and changing all five components of the American racial order—Americans’ understanding of what a race is, their system for classifying individuals, the relative position of groups, official or quasi-official permissions and prohibitions, and social interactions among groups. It is making each racial or ethnic group more heterogeneous as well as adding new ones to the mix. Elites’ political action more or less accidentally opened the doors to massive immigration; individuals’ decisions to start a fresh life in a new country turned the anticipated trickle into a rush. What the political implications will be remains unclear. The United States may practice an updated version of the last century’s assimilation of immigrants into the extant order. But the evidence suggests that the powerful demographic changes resulting from immigration, especially in conjunction with multiracialism and cohort change, are more likely to usher in a new racial order.


The Growth of Immigraxion

The 1965 Immigration Act and Its Successors

No one, at least on the public record, intended or expected the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act to transform the American racial order.1

-21-

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Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Figures and Tables xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - The Argument 1
  • 1 - Destabilizing the American Racial Order 3
  • Part II - Creating a New Order 19
  • 2 - Immigration 21
  • 3 - Multiracialism 56
  • 4 - Genomics 83
  • 5 - Cohort Change 113
  • 6 - Blockages to Racial Transformation 139
  • Part III - Possibilities 165
  • 7 - The Future of the American Racial Order 167
  • Notes 183
  • References 213
  • Index 255
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