The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: ‘If you want to see what this nation is all about, you have to ride the rails‘ Stolen bodies working stolen land.
What is the message of the Underground Railroad?
-Harriet Tubman, 1896. The Underground Railroad—the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War—refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape.
What was the Underground Railroad and why was it created?
The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured of their freedom.
Why was it called the Underground Railroad?
(Actual underground railroads did not exist until 1863.) According to John Rankin, “It was so called because they who took passage on it disappeared from public view as really as if they had gone into the ground. After the fugitive slaves entered a depot on that road no trace of them could be found.
Where did the Underground Railroad originate?
The Underground Railroad was created in the early 19th century by a group of abolitionists based mainly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Within a few decades, it had grown into a well-organized and dynamic network. The term “Underground Railroad” began to be used in the 1830s.
Why was the Underground Railroad important to American history?
The underground railroad, where it existed, offered local service to runaway slaves, assisting them from one point to another. The primary importance of the underground railroad was that it gave ample evidence of African American capabilities and gave expression to African American philosophy.
Where is the Underground Railroad?
The site is located on 26 acres of land in Auburn, New York, and is owned and operated by the AME Zion Church. It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors.
How did the South feel about the Underground Railroad?
Reaction in the South to the growing number of slaves who escaped ranged from anger to political retribution. Large rewards were offered for runaways, and many people eager to make money or avoid offending powerful slave owners turned in runaway slaves. The U.S. Government also got involved.
What effect did the Underground Railroad have?
The work of the Underground Railroad resulted in freedom for many men, women, and children. It also helped undermine the institution of slavery, which was finally ended in the United States during the Civil War. Many slaveholders were so angry at the success of the Underground Railroad that they grew to hate the North.
Who made the Underground Railroad?
In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run.
How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans?
How did the Underground Railroad help enslaved African Americans? It provided a network of escape routes toward the North. In his pamphlet Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, on what did David Walker base his arguments against slavery? They feared that the abolition of slavery would destroy their economy.
Who is the leader of the Underground Railroad?
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), a renowned leader in the Underground Railroad movement, established the Home for the Aged in 1908. Born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman gained her freedom in 1849 when she escaped to Philadelphia.
How long did the Underground Railroad take to travel?
The journey would take him 800 miles and six weeks, on a route winding through Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, tracing the byways that fugitive slaves took to Canada and freedom.
How did the Underground Railroad lead to civil war?
The Underground Railroad physically resisted the repressive laws that held slaves in bondage. By provoking fear and anger in the South, and prompting the enactment of harsh legislation that eroded the rights of white Americans, the Underground Railroad was a direct contributing cause of the Civil War.
The Underground Railway
Colson Whitehead was another well-regarded mid-career writer who was appreciated for his inventive, genre-bending works a few years ago, and he has since fallen out of favor. All of a sudden, everything was different. It is remarkable that he was able to score another Pulitzer Prize for his following work, ” The Nickel Boys,” after winning the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize in ” The Underground Railroad.” Where do we go from here? On the cultural scene, he is at the pinnacle of his game.
In the words of the New York Times, it is “transfixing” and “perhaps the most eagerly awaited television series about slavery since ‘Roots’ first aired in 1977.” Unlike in Whitehead’s projected alternate past, the subterranean railroad is a functioning train system complete with locomotives and conductors.
After explaining the roots of his novel for “To The Best of Our Knowledge,” Whitehead informed Steve Paulson, “I was not going to stick to the facts, but I was going to stick to the truth.
Steve Paulson: I’d like to thank you for your time.
- So Cora, your main character, is a third-generation slave who, until she escapes from the farm when she is 15, has never known anything other than the horrific life she has endured on the estate.
- “Colson Whitehead” is a pen name for Colson Whitehead, a writer and poet.
- The problem is that she has no family because her mother, Mabel, abandoned her years ago, and she is forced to live on the plantation as an outcast, someone without a family.
- It takes a certain sort of mentality to even consider leaving the plantation.
- This then becomes the narrative of Cora beginning to take some responsibility over her own life, as told by Spurgeon.
- The forces all around her, though, are closing in on her just as she’s beginning to feel some of this interior strength.
- An escape from a plantation, in my opinion, is an adventure tale.
As a result, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia each have their own distinct personalities.
SP: “What if the Underground Railroad was a real railroad?” I wondered, and that’s when I came up with the concept.
And that’s just an idea; there isn’t much of a story behind it at all.
A number of years ago, I had an inspiration for this project.
Your own alternate history has been built by you.
To be able to experiment with ideas in a more creative way, is that the reason behind this?
So, what exactly is slavery all about, exactly?
Moreover, I could weave together many instances from American history to present a narrative that was distinct from the one that America tends to tell itself.
Was there any point in wondering if you’d be able to say something original?
So that’s always going to be an issue.
But this time — you know, I hadn’t read “Beloved” by Toni Morrison in like 25 years, or “The Known World” by Edward Jones in 12 years, so this was a refreshing change.
Toni Morrison is impossible to beat.” SP: She’s already taken care of it.
To be honest, the only thing you can do is have faith that you have something new to contribute, something that is unique to your point of view.
Incorporated throughout your tale were portions of history that were counter-factual in nature, as well as fragments of more current history that were played with.
CW: The concept of an actual train was my initial thinking while trying to figure out how to expand on the subject.
Besides that, I was a big fan of “The Twilight Zone” and “Star Trek,” as well as horror movies.
We can perceive the world in a new light by modifying or adopting a different point of view.
Sometimes it’s best to be practical, and other times it’s best to approach a problem from an unusual angle.
In your alternate history in South Carolina, you have these fantastic scenes.
“Scenes from Darkest Africa” is the title of one exhibit.
It’s a sanitized version of history, in which slaves sew with spinning wheels aboard the ships that brought them to America — all of which, of course, is on display for the benefit of white museum visitors.
I was inspired by real-life situations for a lot of the more ridiculous sections in the book, says Cw: African Americans were dressed in so-called “jungle clothing” and instructed to perform in the manner of jungle natives for the benefit of the audience, as well as for the benefit of those who came to see them at the major World’s Fairs held throughout history.
- SP: It was practically like being in a zoo, except that there were actual human beings present to witness it.
- It may seem silly at this point, but that is exactly how it transpired.
- SP: A sort of running theme throughout the book is that you’re somewhat reflecting on how the history of slavery has been sanitized throughout our own society in novels and movies, because to properly illustrate how terrible and dehumanizing it was, it’s nearly painful to witness.
- Consider if you wish to consider the painful cruelty, rapes, and abuse that your great-great-great-grandfather inflicted upon his slaves if you are from the South and your great-great-great-grandfather had slaves.
- To think about it is awful, and it makes you feel uneasy.
- SP: Can you tell me about some of the connections you’ve noticed between 150 years ago and today?
- Slave patrol patrollers were the primary law enforcement officers in the South 150 years ago today.
- You might also be arrested and assaulted if you are apprehended.
- They have the ability to halt them if they so choose.
- At an early age, I was taught that every time I left the house, I am a potential target, and that I could not rely on the police to protect me from harm.
- I’ve also been pulled over in a car for driving while intoxicated, which is something that happens to a lot of individuals.
After being restrained and interrogated, I was released. It is unquestionably a part of my American experience to witness this type of casual violence, which may frequently grow into murderous abuse. As a result, establishing connections between the two is not difficult.
In Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, Ralph Ellison Meets Stephen King
Colson Whitehead was another well-regarded mid-career writer who was acclaimed for his inventive, genre-bending novels a few years ago. Then everything began to shift. He was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his novel ” The Underground Railroad,” and, in a remarkable twist of fate, he was awarded another Pulitzer for his subsequent work, ” The Nickel Boys. ” And what about now? He’s on top of everything in the cultural sphere. “The Underground Railroad” has been converted into a 10-hour Amazon series, which has received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
- And the main character, Cora, is a fugitive slave who embarks on an epic odyssey of survival and liberty.
- This transcript has been modified for brevity and clarity, as well as for readability.
- So, Cora, your main character, is a third-generation slave who, until she escapes from the farm when she is 15, has never known anything other than the horrific life she has endured on the estate.
- Colson Whitehead (Colson Whitehead.com): A badass has been characterized to me, which I find adorable.
- Considering the possibility of leaving the plantation requires a particular type of bravery and strength that I am not sure I would have had if I had been in her shoes 150 years ago.
- And thus this becomes a narrative about Cora learning to take responsibility of her own life.
- However, just as she is beginning to harness her inner strength, the forces all around her are closing in on her.
An escape from a plantation, in my opinion, is an adventure narrative.
As a result, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia each have their own personalities.
“What if the Underground Railroad was a real railroad?” I wondered, and that’s how I came up with the concept.
And that’s just an idea; there isn’t much of a plot there.
This was a concept that I had many years ago.
SP: You’ve written your own version of history.
Is this so that you may sort of experiment with different concepts in a more creative way?
So, what exactly is slavery?
And I could mix and match different instances from American history to make a tale that was different from the one that America, on the whole, tells about itself.
Did you ever wonder if you’d be able to say anything new?
CW:Yeah, that’s always a challenge.
But this time — you know, I hadn’t read “Beloved” by Toni Morrison in like 25 years, or “The Known World” by Edward Jones in 12 years.
CW: In all probability, someone brighter and more skilled than you has already written about the subject you’re writing about, whether it’s war, family, or race.
SP: So, it was these parts of imagination that you brought in to the mix, right?
Was that the best method for keeping it fresh?
I grew up as a person who did not enjoy leaving the house.
And the authors whose work I was drawn to when I first started reading were those that viewed the world through the prism of fiction.
As a result, it appears to me to be a natural narrative tool.
SP: There’s one thing I’d want to question you about before I go any farther.
After escaping, Coras finds work at a site called the Museum of Natural Wonders, where she is assigned to a part of the museum called Living History, where she is expected to portray the life of a slave.
“Life on the Slave Ship” is the title of another book.
What inspired you to come up with this concept?
To this end, African Americans were dressed in so-called “jungle clothing” and were expected to perform in the manner of jungle natives for the benefit of the audience, as well as the general public who came to watch what was going on.
SP: It was practically like being in a zoo, except that there were actual human beings around.
So, you know, that may seem ludicrous, but that is exactly how it transpired.
SP: A sort of running theme throughout the book is that you’re partially reflecting on how the history of slavery has been sanitized throughout our own society in novels and movies, because to actually convey how terrible and dehumanizing it was, it’s nearly painful to witness.
If you are from the South and your great-great-great-great-grandfather had slaves, do you really want to think about the painful cruelty, rapes, and torture that he inflicted on the people on his land?
It’s a horrible thought to ponder, and it’s unsettling.
SP: Can you tell me about some of the connections you notice between 150 years ago and now?
150 years ago, the slave patrol patroller served as the primary law enforcement officer in the South.
And if you’re detected, you might be arrested and abused in prison.
They have the ability to halt them.
At an early age, I was taught that every time I left the house, I am a potential target, and that I could not rely on the police to protect me.
And, of course, like many others, I’ve been pulled over in a car for driving while intoxicated.
I’ve been handcuffed and interrogated for several hours. That type of casual maltreatment, which may quickly grow into murderous violence, is unquestionably a feature of my American upbringing. As a result, it isn’t difficult to identify the connections between the two.
African American History Month – The Underground Railroad — Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone
Questions for discussion were given by the publisher.
CBR9 Review #9: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Another book club option was Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad, which was read by the Mocha Girls Read group. The tale follows Cora on her Odyssey-like quest to freedom from slavery, which takes place on a magically realistic underground train system. You have the actual Great Spirit in your possession, the divine thread that binds all human endeavors together – if you can maintain it, it is yours. Your possession, slave, or whole continent. “It is a matter of national security.” – beginning on page 80 It begins in Africa, following the first slaves as they are kidnapped and transported to the United States of America.
- The brief opening chapters were written in a visual style to prepare the reader for a somber look into the history of the United States.
- When Cora is a small child, her mother disappears in the middle of the night without a trace.
- Cora is hardened as a result of having to find her way on her own from an early age, rather than being inspired.
- There is a tenuous sense of kinship among the slaves, but nothing is certain in the life of a slave.
- He is essentially a psychopath who takes pleasure in punishing any slave who deviates from the established order.
- Another slave, Big Anthony, is tortured and killed for the purpose of entertainment.
- Unfortunately, they hurt a youngster who is a member of the slave-catching posse while attempting to flee.
There will be plot spoilers ahead!
While in South Carolina, she works as a nanny as a part of the state’s Negro education initiative.
Following her discovery that the local doctor, Stevens, is covertly sterilizing women, she flees to North Carolina on the railroad.
“Stolen bodies toiling on stolen territory.
Cora believed that the whites had began snatching futures in earnest as a result of the procedures detailed by Dr.
Cut you open and tear them out with a pouring stream of blood.
Take away their hope that one day their people will have a better life by torturing them as much as you possibly can while they are still alive on this planet.” On page 117 of the book Cora is whisked away by the imaginary train to the attic of MartinEthel, who has inherited the station from Martin’s father.
- She observes the lynchings that take place every Friday night from her attic.
- On page 156 of the book Cora suffers yet another setback when the couple’s Irish maid snitches for the little payment despite the fact that she is not much higher in social standing than Cora.
- ” “We do our share,” Ridgeway added, referring to both slaves and slave catchers.
- The influx of newcomers pouring into the harbors, as well as the politicians, sheriffs, and newspaper editors, as well as the women who are rearing strong sons People like you and your mother represent the pinnacle of your race’s achievements.
- You must be strong in order to survive the labor and contribute to the larger good.
- We can’t have you being too intelligent, though.
- Nat Turner is the Nat Turner of the narrative.
When Lander and Mingo are arguing the fate of the farm, they are channeling the two opposing viewpoints on abolition into their debates.
It becomes violent until Ridgeway and his young black aide, Homer, arrive to provide the solution.
She does finally find her way to the North, as she has stated.
It was Lumbly’s words that came back to her: “If you want to know what this country is all about, you have to ride the rails.” Take a look about you as you speed through and you’ll see the actual face of the United States.
“There was only darkness outside the windows on her excursions, and there would only ever be darkness outside the windows.” – pages 262-263 of the book I really like Colson Whitehead’s stinging critique of America, which you can see in the samples I chose.
The real narrative, on the other hand, left me feeling beaten down.
There isn’t much light at the end of the tunnel, which I realize is a fair expectation.
I was prepared to fall in love with it, but I think the anticipation set the bar a little too high.
With little reason or fanfare, characters vanish without a trace.
He does return to important individuals in order to provide them with epilogues before the conclusion of Cora’s narrative.
For me, it’s more of a reading assignment for class than a literary pleasure read.
I’m intrigued to read more from the author.
Alternatively, 26. Alternatively, 13. Decide on your reading level and read until you reach your goal, all while earning money for the American Cancer Society in honor of Alabama Pink.
The shame of the past we share and try to forget
In my last piece, I discussed how I had been unable to get a scene from Roy Andersson’s most recent film out of my brain for weeks. Pith-helmeted British troops crowd chained and terrified African men, women, and children into a gigantic spinning drum before lighting a fire beneath it in A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, one of the film’s most famous scenes. During the agonizing motions of those imprisoned, their screams are transformed into haunting music for the edification of an elegantly-dressed gathering of affluent folk who are observing the sight from the terrace of a nearby estate while waiters pass among them offering champagne.
During the same week that I watched Andersson’s film, the second episode of Britain’s Forgotten Slave Ownerswas broadcast on PBS, which is a superb account of the abolition of slavery in Britain and the extraordinary decision made by Britain’s government of the day to compensate slave owners for the loss of “property” they had suffered.
” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=” src=” h=484″ alt=”David Olusoga in the National Archive at Kew, looking through British slave registrations” src=” h=484″ alt=”David Olusoga in the National Archive at Kew, looking through British slave registers” The size of the image is 725 by 484 pixels.
Most people believe that the abolition of slavery in the British Empire is a national myth – one that is based on national pride in the achievements of the abolitionists who, through their campaigns in the early nineteenth century, first brought an end to slavery in the British Empire as a whole in 1807, and then brought about the abolition of slavery itself in 1834.
Compared to that glittering vision, David Olusoga’s documentary served as a sobering correction.
According to Olusoga, the only way for the law to be approved by the House of Commons was for both the government and the abolitionists to agree that the slave owners should be compensated – and generously – for the loss of their “property.” The 46,000 slave owners in Britain were compensated with the equivalent of £17 billion in today’s money – but the slaves received absolutely nothing.
It grew into, in his words, “the biggest and most convoluted compensation in the history of the United Kingdom.” Over the course of two hours, David Olusoga drew on the huge slave registers, which include data of all 800,000 men, women, and children who were slaves in the British Empire at the time of abolition, to demonstrate how slavery permeated every aspect of British life at the time of liberation.
Instead of being restricted to the wealthy, slave owners included members of the professional middle class, such as clergymen and shopkeepers, lawyers and small business owners, as well a surprising number of women, including widows who relied on a small number of slaves inherited from their deceased husbands as the sole source of income.
David Olusoga writes on the Barbados sugar plantations in Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners: The Slave Owners of the Caribbean.
When he returned to England, he paid a visit to the spectacularly opulentHarewood Housein Yorkshire, which was built for Barbadian-born landowner, Edwin Lascelles(1713-95), who inherited an enormous West Indian fortune from his father, Henry Lascelles (1690-1753), whose net assets at death were estimated to have totaled £408,784 (approximately £52 million in today’s prices) – all from slave ownership limited to Richard Newton’s satirical print, Practical Christianity, was published in the 18th century.
” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=” Src=”h=478″ alt=”Practical Christianity – 18th century satirical print by Richard Newton” width=”725″ height=”478″ src=”h=725″ alt=”Practical Christianity – 18th century satirical print by Richard Newton” srcset=” 725w,h=99 150w,h=336 510w,h=422 640w 725w,h=99 150w,h=336 510w,h=422 640w ” sizes=”(max-width: 725px) 100vw, 725px”>Practical Christianity – 18th century satirical print by Richard Newton”>Practical Christianity – 18th century satirical print by Richard Newton It was stated by Olusoga that the UCL research project has mapped slave ownership across Britain, revealing that it extended well beyond the areas you might assume – such as the port towns of Bristol, Liverpool, and London – to practically every corner of the country.
It reached well beyond those in charge of the slave trade in the Caribbean — from nobles like the Lascelles, who controlled whole estates, to widows who had inherited a handful of slaves; from merchants who were familiar with the realities of the slave trade, to church leaders and missionaries.
David Olusoga conducted research in the National Archive at Kew on the British slave registers, which are ledgers in which the specific identities of slave-owners are recorded in exquisite copperplate, depending on the requests for compensation that they made to the government.
In 1833, the United States Congress passed the Slavery Abolition Act, which abolished slavery in the United States.
the slavery abolition act of 1833″ sizes=”(max-width: 725px) 100vw, 725px”>The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833″ srcset=” 725w,h=144 150w,h=490 510w,h=500 520w”>The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 Abolitionists claim that the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 officially emancipated 800,000 Africans who were then considered legal property of Britain’s slave masters.
The Slave Compensation Commission was created in order to investigate the claims of slave owners and supervise the distribution of the £20 million that the government had set aside to compensate them for their losses.
It was, in the words of David Olusoga, ‘the greatest bailout in British history up until and including the bailout of the banks in 2009.’ A team from University College London began carefully analysing the Commission’s records in 2010, despite the fact that their presence had never been concealed.
- According to the Commission’s documents, a more or less full census of slave ownership throughout the British Empire in the 1830s may be derived from them.
- In one letter, a widowed 70-year-old woman named Dorothy Little described how she inherited 14 slaves in Jamaica after her husband died.
- However, as a result of that precise scenario, they have proven to be more important to me than strong men, having more than doubled their initial number and, as a result, more than doubled my revenue.
- In the first place, it was the poorest people in Britain who paid for the bailout (does this seem familiar?) through higher consumption taxes (there was no income tax in place at the time), which are regressive by definition.
- Finally, Olusoga discussed the consequences of the bailout as well as the conflict between abolitionists and slave-owners over the passage of laws.
- In the case of railroads, some of the wealthiest slave-owning families made investments, while banks such as RBS, Barclays, and Lloyds evolved out of local banks that had sponsored slavery in port towns such as Liverpool and Bristol, among other things.
- Isaac Robert Cruickshank and John Bull are two of the most famous actors in the world.
The print by Isaac Robert Cruickshank (son of the more known Isaac) made in 1826 in favor of the salve owners’ fight against abolition was the subject of a remarkable passage in which Olusoga addressed it.
Meanwhile, Pat, a low-wage English laborer, is out of work and without food.
Despite the fact that slavery had been abolished, the underlying ideologies, philosophies, and attitudes remained in place.
10 Downing Street in London.
The Kaiser’s Holocaust, David Olusoga’s debut book, chronicles the order to slaughter thousands of Namibians during the German invasion of Namibia in 1883, which was carried out by soldiers and officials who would go on to play a part in the formation of Nazism in the following decades.
The theme of Olusoga’s book prompted me to consider the contrast between how modern-day Germany has coped with its terrible past and the approach taken by the United Kingdom.
In the United Kingdom, we have not yet confronted our own heinous history.
When I was watching David Olusoga’s works, I felt a tremendous sense of humiliation wash over me. I must accept my guilt as a natural part of my identity, just as Germans do today.
- The BBC website has a page dedicated to Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners. The history of British slave ownership has been concealed for centuries
- Now it may be disclosed in its full scope: David Olusoga’s piece in the Guardian
- UCL Slave Ownership Project (University College London)
- Orvil Kunga speaks with David Olusoga (The British Black List), the presenter of the BBC 2 series ‘Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners,’ about the series.
Liverpool (A Legacy of British Imperial Slave Trade)
Questioning immigration in the context of the Constitution boils down to one single issue: the delicate balance that must be struck between federal authorities and the rights of individuals. Regardless of whether the argument is based on moral or constitutional reasoning, the crux of the debate is the balance between the federal powers granted to Congress by the Constitution and the individual liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and other amendments. In order to restore the existing precarious balance between federal authorities and individual rights, which is visible in immigration limits, as well as in deportation and detainment procedures, it is necessary to reduce federal immigration restrictions.
Some of rights, such as the right to vote and the ability to run for public office, are specifically reserved for citizens.
This implies that non-citizens immigrants, including those who are here illegally, have very particular rights that have been granted to them by the government.
On the other hand, the Constitution explicitly grants Congress the authority to decide and confer citizenship in Article 1, section 8, clause four: “The Congress shall have Power To.establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.
The power to control immigration is sometimes asserted as an inherent power of Congress – this was actually the argument for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act – but that line of reasoning would imply that the power to determine “an uniform rule of Naturalization” would be granted automatically as well, and Naturalization is explicitly granted.
This would entail broadening the concept of commerce to include “social contact,” as some contemporary scholars have said is appropriate.
Some claim that because Congress was previously banned by Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 from controlling immigration into the country, and because that limitation expired in 1808, Congress now has the authority to regulate migration into the country.
This provides an unusual situation since, despite the fact that Congress is not officially granted the authority to limit migration, it does so and has done so for quite some time.
Because the federal government has not been granted the authority to exert such tight control over immigration, it should refrain from imposing such stringent limitations on immigration.
A positive shift in favor of immigration would result as a result of interjurisdictional rivalry, since while some states would surely impose stringent immigration limits, others would support it as a result of the increased competition.
As stated in the CRS Annotation of the 5th Amendment, due process of law for immigrants includes the executive determination on whether they can be admitted or not, but not the expulsion of undocumented immigrants without cause.
It is possible that delegating portions of immigration control to states may reduce “deportation without a fair hearing or on allegations that are not backed by any evidence” (CRS Annotation).
According to some, immigrants are damaging, hence this might be used as a justification against their entry into the country.
Migrants, in particular, have been of considerable assistance economically, contributing to technical advancement, increasing the working-age population, and bringing in outside talents that have contributed to the country’s human capital accumulation.
Furthermore, they do not often “steal employment away from Americans,” as they typically occupy gaps in both rapidly developing and decreasing economic sectors.
Given that Congress has not been expressly granted the authority to govern immigration, and given that present laws have violated individuals’ constitutional rights, federal limits on immigration should be relaxed, providing states greater flexibility in assisting immigrants.
The question of immigration in a Constitutional context basically boils down to one issue: the delicate balance between federal authorities and the rights of individual citizens.