Anti-Immigration in the United States

A Historical Encyclopedia

by Kathleen R. Arnold, Editor


America is a country of immigrants. It is also a country whose history is rife with demonstrations of anti-immigration sentiment, directed against the Irish, the Chinese, the Italians, and many other groups. Contemporary society displays its own prejudices, notably against "Arabs" and "Hispanics." To counter such unsavory movements requires understanding of individuals and issues, cause and effect.

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Cover image for Anti-Immigration in the United States

September 2011


Pages 876
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/General

A comprehensive treatment of anti-immigration sentiment exploring debate, policies, ideas, and key groups from historical and contemporary perspectives.

Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia is one of the first encyclopedias to address American anti-immigration sentiment. Organized alphabetically, the two-volume work covers major historical periods and relevant concepts, as well as discussions of various anti-immigration stances. Leading figures and groups in the anti-immigration movements of the past and present are also explored.

Bringing together the work of distinguished scholars from many fields, including legal theorists, political scientists, anthropologists, geographers, and sociologists, the work covers aspects and issues related to anti-immigration sentiment from the establishment of the republic to contemporary times. For each time period, there is a focus on key groups, representing both actors and those acted upon. Political concerns of the time are also discussed to broaden understanding of motivation. In addition, entries explore the role of race, gender, and class in determining immigration policy and informing public sentiment.


  • More than 150 A–Z entries on the key features of anti-immigration sentiment from political, economic, ethnic, and historical perspectives
  • Photographs
  • A separate volume of more than 50 primary documents recording the history of anti-immigration movements and legislation, including famous letters from Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln
  • A selected bibliography drawing from the fields of anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, geography, political science, sociology, and urban planning


  • Provides an A–Z reference on anti-immigration sentiment, a subject for which there are no comparable references
  • Compiles important historical documents related to immigration and anti-immigration sentiment in an accessible and concise form
  • Offers both contemporary and historical perspectives
  • Explores ideas that are highly relevant to contemporary political debate
Author Info

Kathleen R. Arnold is currently visiting professor at DePaul University, Chicago, IL. She is the author of Homelessness, Citizenship, and Identity: The Uncanniness of Late Modernity and America's New Working Class: Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in a Biopolitical Age.



"With nearly 200 entries, from 'African Americans and Immigration' to 'Zoot Suit Riots,' this two-volume set is the perfect overview to several hundred years of anti-immigration sentiment. Not only does this encyclopedia provide historical insight, it pays a great deal of attention to current issues, policies, and events."Libray Journal Online

"The editor accurately notes that this encyclopedia should be seen as 'not only a history of events--with a clear chronology--but also a history of ideas.' Summing Up: Recommended."Choice

"This traditionally designed, specialized historical encyclopedia will be useful in undergraduate and larger public libraries."Booklist

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