When long-term Chicago resident and World War II veteran Rodolfo Lozoya traveled to Mexico in 1957 to visit his ailing mother, he probably did not think that he would face the threat of permanent separation from his US citizen wife and children. But when he tried to reenter the United States, authorities excluded him from the country because of his alleged past membership in the Communist Party. The saga of Lozoya’s exclusion and his family’s separation offer insights into the hypocritical nature of democracy in Cold War America. The case also sheds light on the intertwined lives of citizens and noncitizens, and how immigrant rights groups such as the Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born mobilized to defend people from exclusion and deportation under the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. Federal censors’ decision to withhold materials on Lozoya more than fifty-five years later, and thirty years after his death, points to the enduring legacy of the Cold War and to the pervasive fear of radical politics in the twenty-first century.
Barring the Gates: A History of Political Exclusion and Family Separation in Cold War America
ADAM GOODMAN teaches in the Department of History and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants (2020).
Adam Goodman; Barring the Gates: A History of Political Exclusion and Family Separation in Cold War America. Labor 1 March 2021; 18 (1): 54–66. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-8767338
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