The Contradictory Legacy of the 1965 Immigration Act

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act, I wrote this piece explaining how a law designed to repair flaws in the fabric of American justice also created new ones.

I wrote it forWhat It Means to Be American, a national conversation hosted by theSmithsonian and Zócalo Public Square, and it was published along with a number of other opinion pieces authored by Douglas Massey, Nancy Foner and Richard Alba, as well as a roundtable on the act by experts like Rubén G. Rumbaut, Audrey Singer, Alex Nowresteh, María Enchautegui, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou who answered the question “Was the 1965 Immigration Act a Failure?” Together, these pieces offer some of the best perspectives on how and why the 1965 Immigration Act was passed and what has been the legacy for all of us today.