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American Bar Association: Our Country is Full. True or False?

Thursday, December 10, 2020
1:00 pm2:00 pm

In addition to individual-level and structural discrimination, the coronavirus crisis inspired institutionalized discrimination - laws, policies, and practices excluding immigrants and other perceived cultural, racial, and ethnic outsiders.

Last April, for instance, the UN warned that the United States was using the pandemic to summarily expel asylum seekers. As part of a long-term strategy to slow the influx of newcomers, President Donald Trump has implemented additional restrictions. He also falsely claimed that the construction of a barrier wall on the border with Mexico will prevent further infections.

Still, from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the recent Muslim and African Bans, barring racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities is not particularly innovative. Indeed, it is the same xenophobia but the subject of official derision simply evolves in response to the political, social, and economic context. This panel will examine root causes, manifestations, and practical policy responses to such legal measures with an eye on the next four years.