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Eugenics & Immigration: A Dark Time In History And A Warning For Us Now. Roger Algase

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One of the darkest periods in all of US immigration history was the "Eugenics" movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of us have heard of this movement, but few of us may have realized the enormous effect that it had on US immigration policy for such a long time.

Harvard Magazine, in its March-April 2016 issue, presents a full history of this movement and its deleterious effect on public attitudes toward immigration, which in turn led to restrictive laws excluding Asian, Jewish, Italian, Eastern European and most other immigrants from outside the favored area of northern Europe.

Ironically, Harvard University, a symbol of America's quest for academic excellence, was one of the main breeding grounds for this backward looking ideology, which was based on the false idea of the inherent superiority of certain races over others, and which eventually turned out to be a major influence in the Nazi genocide.

The article, by Adam Cohen, is called:

Harvard's Eugenics Era: When academics embraced scientific racism, immigration restrictions, and the suppression of "the unfit".

In 2016, when it has once again become acceptable for certain politicians, columnists and other public figures to stigmatize entire groups of immigrants as "criminals", "rapists" "drug dealers" or "terrorists" on no other basis than their ethnicity or religious affiliation, and to propose mass deportation and exclusion of entire groups of immigrants in numbers even larger than anything that could have been imagined in earlier times of restrictive immigration laws, it is instructive to look at the history of the failed "Eugenics" doctrine more closely.

The link to the Harvard Magazine article is:

www.harvardmagazine.com/2016/03/harvards-eugenics-era

To be continued.
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Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

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Updated 02-28-2016 at 07:03 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. Pipo's Avatar
    ?...It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind...Three generations of imbeciles are enough.?
    Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
    Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)
    Supreme Court decision that ruled that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the intellectually disabled, "for the protection and health of the state" did not violate the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/274/200

    Sarcastically speaking, the blame should be placed on the states involved in Eugenics during the early decades of the Twentieth Century for not strictly enforcing the sterilization laws on Donald Trump?s ancestors: now America is paying the consequences of that since defective genes have been effectively passed from one generation to the next (and Mr. Trump is a clear evidence of that).
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