Aliens Addicting Us

A Historical Perspective of Immigration and Drug Control Policy

Authored by: Elaine Carey , Andrae Marak

Routledge Handbook on Immigration and Crime

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138668416
eBook ISBN: 9781317211563
Adobe ISBN:


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In 2015, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embraced anti-immigrant language by claiming that Mexico was “sending people that have lots of problems” to the United States. This chapter examines how politicians have blamed immigrants for vice and crime, including the drug trade since the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. In this chapter, we trace the 100-year historical continuity in which immigrants have been blamed for addiction rates, drug crime, and the drug trade. Politicians used an array of tools including committees, task forces, and legal changes to control immigrants and publicly blame them for drug use and trade while rarely attacking the demand that triggered the drug supply.

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