Follow Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jerry Kammer as he tells the story of the federal government's failure to control illegal immigration as Congress promised in 1986, when it enacted an historic compromise reform that also provided amnesty to nearly three million unauthorized immigrants.
Kammer argues that this was one of the most consequential failures in American history because it led to the proliferation of illegal immigration, which produced a backlash that eventually led to the election of Donald Trump.
Losing Control is a vivid history of the past half century of immigration politics and policy. It is also a dramatic ground-level account of how the story took shape. Kammer describes the economic and cultural forces that both pushed millions of migrants from home communities in Latin America and pulled them northward to the US.
He shows how the backlash gradually emerged from the frustrations of American workers and communities who felt overwhelmed by the influx and betrayed by their government.
Kammer also explains the Democrats abandonment of their historic commitment to control illegal immigration. And he details how Republicans placated corporate interests by allowing workplace controls to fail. Meanwhile, both parties sought to appease the public by spending billions on border security. Finally, he suggests new reforms that would honor our dual legacy as a country of immigrants and a country of laws.