As the number of refugees worldwide grows and scores of migrants continue to seek safety and opportunities in other nations, Europe and the United States are increasingly experiencing anti-immigrant backlash. Some candidates for the US presidency, for example, are campaigning on platforms that would include severe restrictions on immigration to the United States as well as a complete ban of Muslim immigrants.
In the first of a two-part CMSOnAir series, “Shaping a Nation: The Past and Present Struggles Over Immigration,” the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) speaks with Charles Wheeler, Director of Training and Legal Support at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) where he manages support and advocacy work on immigration law and related issues affecting immigrants. Prior to CLINIC, Mr. Wheeler directed the National Immigration Law Center for more than ten years and practiced and taught immigration law for two decades. He has served on the boards of the National Immigration Forum, American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and other leading organizations. He is also the author of the chapter, “The Evolution of the United States Immigration Laws,” in the 2014 book International Migration, US Immigration Law, and Civil Society: From the Pre-Colonial Era to the 113th Congress published by CMS and the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN). In this podcast, Mr. Wheeler discusses how the anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric of today compare with past times in US history.