Inferiority (or disability) manifested in Immigration restrictions today


In light of the reading (“Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History”) by Douglas C. Baynton I was intrigued by one of his arguments that disability acted in place of nationality; specifically before nationality based quotas were established. In addition to his point, I argue that quotas and disabilities attributed to nationalities are the same thing. The process of restricting immigrants based on their nationality is no different than than the “old” viewpoint that other nationalities are disabled (or inferior) compared to Americans. The above image demonstrates severely limited European immigration due to a quota-based system as mentioned. The depiction of such restriction is equivalent to collectively viewing European nationalities as inferior to the American nation. If you sought to immigrate to another country, would you agree with unequal quota-based restrictions (which effectively imply inferiority) based on your nationality?



One thought on “Inferiority (or disability) manifested in Immigration restrictions today

  1. I think that this is a very hard question to answer. On one side, letting everyone immigrate to the US that wanted to would probably create problems in our economy, and be unsustainable. However, I do think that we need to create a way of making citizenship and visas more accessible to people, because when people immigrate illegally it makes their lives and our lives harder. It is a hard question because then one has to decide what qualifies someone for citizenship or a visa; if they have a criminal record, are they ineligible? a disability that makes them unable to work (referring back to Baynton)? It is hard to say, but as things are functioning right now I don’t think it’s fair, and I think that there should be some kind of reform. I think that if I was denied entry to a country based on my nationality, I would understand the concept behind not letting everyone in that wanted to go, but be angry that they might let more people from other countries in because of the politics between their countries.


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