In this episode of Talks at GS, journalist Jia Lynn Yang discusses the political struggle over immigration in America following World War I through the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act and the debate over immigration reform in the country today.
On the national immigration conversation: “I don't think there's enough discussion of just sort of how we got to where we are, which I think for me – the most powerful question that history can answer is how did we get here? And I think on immigration, it's easy to imagine that the way we do things now is kind of how it's always been… So all these things that we kind of take for granted… I think when you begin to look at the history, you understand just how different we are now than we were before.”
On the future of immigration reform in America: “I think any reform effort has to kind of step back and look at the whole thing, right? How did we get here and what do we value? What does it mean to become an American? … How do you still design a system that feels equitable and just? And I think that's the kind of question that no experts or individual can really answer. That's the thing that I think as a community, as a democracy, we have to kind of navigate together.”