illegal immigrants don’t exist … until after 1930


According to immigration scholar and advocate Francesca Pizzutelli, the phrase “illegal immigrant” did not exist in English (or was insanely rare) before the 1930s. Rather, people used the phrase “irregular immigrant” for transitory labor. The bias against outsiders exists in all societies, but this suggests that the modern legal and cultural edifice that bars people from migrating peacefully to the US did not exist till the series of anti-immigration laws passed by Congress in the 1920s.

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Written by fabiorojas

June 23, 2014 at 5:04 am

Posted in ethics, fabio

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  1. Note also that “aliens” peaks right after Ellen Ripley’s unfortunate encounter…


    Bernard Forgues

    June 23, 2014 at 6:09 am

  2. […] Lee, June 18, 2014, linking to Google Ngram. 15 likes, 4 comments. It also inspired the blog post illegal immigrants don’t exist … until after 1930 by Fabio Rojas,, June 23, […]


  3. Reblogged this on YBoris.



    June 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm

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