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The Economic Well-Being of Black Americans: The Overarching Influence of U.S. Immigration Policies

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[Excerpt] Of the myriad public policies that have impinged on the economic well being of black Americans over the years, none has had more overarching and continuous effects than those pertaining to immigration. Immigration policies and trends have set the stage that has allowed other outcomes to happen. From the beginning, when blacks were introduced into the British colonies that would later become the United States, to contemporary times, when the nation finds itself in the throes of the largest and longest period of mass immigration in its history, immigration policy has significantly influenced the geographical, occupational, and industrial employment patterns of black Americans. Given the harrowing experiences of black Americans as the only racial or ethnic group to have ever been collectively subjected to both enforced slavery and de jure segregation, no form of public policy should be allowed to do harm to their quest to overcome these imposed handicaps. Unfortunately, U.S. immigration policy has not held to that standard. The burden of this neglect continues to this day.

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2003-07-01

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immigration; public policy; illegal immigration; labor law; legislation; labor market; labor supply; African-Americans; black Americans

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Required Publisher Statement: Copyright by Springer Verlag. Final version published as Briggs, V. M. (2003). The economic well-being of black Americans: The overarching influence of U.S. immigration policies. The Review of Black Political Economy, 31(1/2), pp. 15-42.

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