White Supremacist Roots of Section 1325: The Legal Basis For Immigrant Detention

Immigrant families walk along a sidewalk on their way to a respite center after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas.
Immigrant families walk along a sidewalk on their way to a respite center after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. David J. Phillip / AP Photo
Immigrant families walk along a sidewalk on their way to a respite center after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas.
Immigrant families walk along a sidewalk on their way to a respite center after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. David J. Phillip / AP Photo

White Supremacist Roots of Section 1325: The Legal Basis For Immigrant Detention

At Wednesday night’s Democratic Primary presidential debate in Miami, former secretary of housing and urban development Julian Castro launched into Beto O’Rourke over his failure to advocate for the repeal of Section 1325, part of Title 8 of the United States Code that makes it a misdemeanor for immigrants to enter the United States without authorization from the American government to do so. The 1929 statute forms the legal basis for President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which it uses to justify policies of immigrant detention and family separation.

Joining us to discuss the Section’s place in the history of immigration law and enforcement in the United States is Professor of History and African American Studies at UCLA Kelly Lytle Hernandez.