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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Guest lecturer to delve into history of Asian immigrants, immigration policy

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Madeline Hsu wrote her book “The Good Immigrants” to analyze the United States’ relationship with Asian Immigrants.

The upcoming lecture “The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority” will take a look at the polarizing shift in the social standing of Asian immigrants throughout American history.
Madeline Hsu, associate professor of history at The University of Texas, will give the lecture based on her book of the same name. The lecture will focus on the history of the immigration process for Asian Americans, as well as how policies about which immigrants should be let in have changed.
“Immigration policy is used to welcome in or to recruit, or to promote the mobility of the kinds of people we think will advance certain national interests,” Hsu said. “If people immigrate, we want to have people we welcome to be a part of American democracy. 
Hsu said the idea for the book stemmed from her interest in investigating which people were being let into America after the Immigration Act of 1965, which changed the former quota-per-national-origin system into a criteria-based system.
“We have greater diversity in terms of where people come from, but our current immigration laws really preference certain people based on their education and employment capacity,” Hsu said. “There was also a little family history involved, because I noticed that my father’s immigration trajectory didn’t follow the standard narrative because he came [to the United States] before 1965.”
History professor Walter Kamphoefner invited Hsu to speak to provide more clarity on immigration policy and changes for Asian Americans. He said he hopes this will address questions on immigration policy discussions that have come up with the current presidential election.
“There has never been a bigger shift in immigration since the Asian-Americans,” Kamphoefner said. “In our history, Asian-Americans have been discriminated against and put into concentration camps during World War II, and soon afterwards they were let in by immigration. Our treatment of Asian immigrants is the polar opposite of what it used to be.”
The lecture will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Glasscock 311 Wednesday. The lecture is open to the public.

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