Politics & Polls #229: Can Immigrants Still Chase the American Dream? (Sarah Coleman)

Apr 22 2021
By B. Rose Huber & Sarah Binder
Topics Politics
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Given today's anti-immigrant, nativist sentiments, is the American Dream even still possible for immigrants to the U.S.? For decades, the politics behind immigration control have undermined the idea of citizenship for all, making this a hard question to answer.

In a new book, historian Sarah Coleman reveals the roots behind today's immigration policies. She shows how immigration politics was not just about building or tearing down walls, but about employer sanctions, access to schools, welfare, and the role of local authorities in implementing policies. She discusses this and more in this episode with Julian Zelizer, her mentor when she was a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton, and Sam Wang.

Coleman is assistant professor of history at Texas State University. Her book, "The Walls Within: The Politics of Immigration in Modern America," was published by the Princeton University Press.