Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155631
Title: DRAWING THE PAPER CURTAIN: COLD WAR FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ENACTMENT OF IMMIGRATION REFORM IN THE U.S., 1950 – 1952
Authors: LIM ZIJIE JOSHUA
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2018
Citation: LIM ZIJIE JOSHUA (2018-04-23). DRAWING THE PAPER CURTAIN: COLD WAR FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ENACTMENT OF IMMIGRATION REFORM IN THE U.S., 1950 – 1952. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis examines the enactment of immigration reform in the United States between 1950 and 1952, to illustrate how America’s Cold War foreign policy considerations determined the nature and substance of immigration reform during this period. It investigates the circumstances in which immigration reform became associated with the exigencies of a national security state designed to achieve America’s Cold War interests abroad. The prioritisation of American Cold War diplomatic interests in the Asia-Pacific, beginning with the outbreak of the Korean War, provided the impetus for restrictionist politicians in Congress to demand immigration reform consistent with their nativist world-views. Drawing from American diplomatic archival materials and Congressional records, this thesis traces how the discourse regarding immigration reform was shaped by the need to achieve highly specific and parochial Cold War diplomatic objectives in the Asia-Pacific. The Internal Security Act of 1950, which granted powers to arrest and deport alien subversives within America’s borders, resulted from America’s perceived need to fight communism both in Korea and at home. Restrictionists in Congress utilised the geo-political situation in the Asia-Pacific to demand the fortification of the national-origins quota system. The subsequent immigration reform that culminated in the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 became a choice between two conceptions of Cold War diplomacy, rather than two sets of moral principles. This thesis engages with a growing body of literature that explores the dynamic relationship between the United States’ foreign and immigration policies, to analyse an often-neglected chapter in American immigration history. Much of the prevailing scholarship regarding immigration reform enacted during the Cold War has assumed that America’s Cold War priorities remained simple and unchanged over the years. Yet the empirical record suggests otherwise. This thesis therefore provides a nuanced understanding of how the Cold War shaped immigration reform between 1950 and 1952.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155631
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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