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Can you become one of us? A historical comparison of legal selection of ‘assimilable’ immigrants in Europe and the Americas

  • Author(s): FitzGerald, David Scott
  • Cook-Martín, David
  • García, Angela S.
  • Arar, Rawan
  • et al.
Abstract

Pre-arrival integration tests used by European countries suggestdiscriminatory measures subtly persist in immigration laws. Thispaper draws on a comparison across the Americas and Europe toidentify and explain historical continuities and discontinuities in‘assimilability’ admissions requirements. We attribute legal shifts atthe turn of the twenty-first century to the institutionaliseddelegitimisation of biological racism and the rise of permanentsettlement immigration to Europe. Efforts to reduce Muslimimmigration largely motivate contemporary European policies, butthese policies test putative individual capacity to integrate ratherthan inferring it from a racial group categorisation, as didhistorical precedents in the Americas.

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