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The Strange Career of the Illegal Alien: Immigration Restriction and Deportation Policy in the United States, 1921–1965


In January 1930 officials of the Bureau of Immigration testified about the Border Patrol before a closed session of the House Immigration Committee. Henry Hull, the commissioner general of immigration, explained that the Border Patrol did not operate “on the border line” but as far as one hundred miles “back of the line.” The Border Patrol, he said, was “a scouting organization and a pursuit organization…. [Officers] operate on roads without warrants and wherever they find an alien they stop him. If he is illegally in the country, they take him to unit headquarters.”

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David Montgomery , The Fall of the House of Labor (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 7074

Edward Hutchinson , Legislative History of American Immigration Law, 1798–1965 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981), 163–68.

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Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
  • URL: /core/journals/law-and-history-review
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