Expelling the Poor
Date: Thursday, November 8
Time: 11:00 am -12:00 pm
Location: Classroom 100
Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy
Lecture and Discussion by Hidetaka Hirota, Waseda University, Japan
In this groundbreaking work, Hidetaka Hirota reinterprets the origins of immigration restriction in the United States, especially deportation policy, offering the first sustained study of immigration control conducted by states prior to the introduction of federal immigration law. Faced with the influx of impoverished Irish immigrants over the first half of the nineteenth century, nativists in New York and Massachusetts built upon colonial poor laws to develop policies for prohibiting the landing of destitute foreigners and deporting those already resident to Europe, Canada, or other American states. These policies laid the foundations for federal immigration law. By locating the roots of American immigration control in cultural prejudice against the Irish and, more essentially, economic concerns about their poverty in nineteenth-century New York and Massachusetts, Expelling the Poor fundamentally revises the history of American immigration policy. Prof. Hirota will base his lecture and the following discussion on the research in his latest book.
Hidetaka Hirota is Assistant Professor at Waseda University in Japan and the author of Expelling the Poor.