Press Release

New Dædalus Issue Explores Immigration, Nativism & Race in the United States

“Looking Backward. They Would Close to the New-Comer the Bridge That Carried Them and Their Fathers Over” (1893) by Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (1838–1894).
“Looking Backward. They Would Close to the New-Comer the Bridge That Carried Them and Their Fathers Over” (1893) by Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (1838–1894). Chromolithograph, first published in Puck magazine. Held at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at The Ohio State University.

CAMBRIDGE, MA — (See Dædalus online) Dysfunctional immigration and border policies implemented in recent decades have accelerated growth of the Latino population and racialized its members around the trope of illegality. Since the 1960s, Republicans have cultivated White fears and resentments toward African Americans, and over time have broadened these efforts to target Hispanics as well. Until 2016, this cultivation relied on a dog whistle politics of racially coded symbolic language, but with the election of Donald Trump, White nationalist sentiments became explicit and emerged as an ideological pillar of the Republican Party.

The Spring 2021 issue of Dædalus on “Immigration, Nativism & Race in the United States,” guest-edited by Douglas S. Massey (Academy Member; Princeton University), confirms this political transformation, describing its features and documenting its consequences. And while its thirteen essays, authored by scholars in the fields of sociology, political science, law, and education, among others, offer a bleak assessment of the policies and practices—implemented by Republican and Democratic administrations alike—leading up to the 2016 election, there is room for optimism: demographic evidence that suggests a future in which integration, adaptation, and peaceful accommodation in which intergroup boundaries blur rather than harden is possible, achieved partially through the full legalization of the roughly 11 million people who live in the United States without legal permanent residence.

The full issue is available online. For questions and more information, please contact

The Spring 2021 issue of Dædalus on “Immigration, Nativism & Race in the United States” features the following essays:

The Bipartisan Origins of White Nationalism
Douglas S. Massey (Academy Member; Princeton University)

Immigration & the Origins of White Backlash
Zoltan Hajnal (University of California, San Diego)

Immigration, Race & Political Polarization
Michael Hout (Academy Member; New York University) & Christopher Maggio (City University of New York; London School of Economics and Political Science)

Status Threat: Moving the Right Further to the Right?
Christopher Sebastian Parker (University of Washington)

The Unceasing Significance of Colorism: Skin Tone Stratification in the United States
Ellis P. Monk, Jr. (Harvard University)

The Racialization of “Illegality”
Cecilia Menjívar (University of California, Los Angeles)

Criminalizing Migration
César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández (University of Denver)

Race, Legal Status & Social Mobility
Mary C. Waters (Academy Member; Harvard University) & Philip Kasinitz (City University of New York)

The Legal Status Divide among the Children of Immigrants
Roberto G. Gonzales (Harvard University) & Stephen P. Ruszczyk (Montclair State University)

Latinos & Racism in the Trump Era
Stephanie L. Canizales (University of California, Merced) & Jody Agius Vallejo (University of Southern California)

“Trauma Makes You Grow Up Quicker”: The Financial & Emotional Burdens of Deportation & Incarceration
Yajaira Ceciliano-Navarro (University of California, Merced) & Tanya Maria Golash-Boza (University of California, Merced)

Asian Americans, Affirmative Action & the Rise in Anti-Asian Hate
Jennifer Lee (Columbia University)

The Surge of Young Americans from Minority-White Mixed Families & Its Significance for the Future
Richard Alba (Academy Member; City University of New York)