How We Got Here: Unwelcome to America

August 27, 2021

CJR · How We Got Here: Unwelcome to America, host Prof. Nina Alvarez

The American Dream is often portrayed as the hook that pulls people to the United States. What is usually left out of the story is the hell many flee––sometimes a hell fed by the very country in which they seek refuge. The story of US involvement in Central America is a classic example of wars inflicted on people by American-financed repressive regimes, and later, by gangs grown in the US and deported wholesale to vulnerable nations.  

In this episode of How We Got Here, a podcast hosted by Columbia Journalism School faculty, a scholar sheds light on the invention of the “illegal alien,” its use and manipulation for the past 140 years (and counting) to exclude and exploit people of color and more recent notions of who and is not deserving of legal admission into the United States.

The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.