Trump and U.S. Immigration Policies. Lessons from the Eisenhower Administration

Alia K. Nardini


While U.S. immigration entry policies after 1953 became a hallmark of ideological openness, designating the United States as the unquestioned leader of a freer and more just world order, Donald Trump’s current immigration strategies isolate America, damage her economy, and fuel divisive feelings among citizens. This paper hopes to persuade the Republican Party not to revert to its pre-1953 restrictionist and nativist stance, thereby undoing the crucial work undertaken by the Eisenhower Administration. The author argues that a sound grasp of the debate that led to the approval of the Refugee Relief Act in 1953 can lead to better informed political decision-making, tracing a new phase of America’s active presence on the world stage, in line with the country’s national interest and Cold war tradition.

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