In 2010, soon after I began teaching at the University of Maryland, my colleague Ira Berlin sauntered over to ask a question: “Do you think immigration is the most important issue facing the United States today?” The query sparked a series of conversations between Ira and me. Over lunches and coffee, we discussed the ways mass immigration had transformed the United States since the 1965 Hart-Celler Act, how it had given rise to a powerful anti-immigrant movement, the great need for more and better dialogue about immigrants’ experience, and the importance of uniting the diverse scholars who study migration and immigration. We wanted in particular to bring a historical perspective to comprehending this so-called new America created by mass immigration—to bring attention to lessons we might gain from other historical periods when the United States was a society dominated by immigrants...

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