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2nd & 3rd Congress: Part I, Panel 2

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Panel 2 | “How we look: Eugenics, the Second Congress, Immigration, and changing today’s demographics”
This panel looks at the integral role the eugenics movement more broadly, and the Second Congress in particular, played in shaping the demographics of the country – through the targeted selection and exclusion of certain communities. The first half of this panel session, led by Dan Okrent, with Alan Kraut and Mark Tseng-Putterman, looks at the context of the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act and the lobbying around that act. It considers the part played by the Congress in justifying such an act, and its implications leading up to the Second World War and the denial of entry to certain groups escaping Nazi persecution. The second half of the session is joined by Lina-Maria Murillo, Celeste Menchaca and Gianna May Sanchez. It explores the long history of eugenic rhetoric and practice on the Southern border, and asks what can be learnt from this as we reflect on the humanitarian disaster on the Mexican/US border today.