Misappropriating History to Support Amnesty Today

Cecilia Munoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House circulated a message on August 27 ostensibly about the U.S. civil rights movement. In it she said the following about the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

“This latter bill dramatically changed the way that immigrants were admitted to the United States, undoing a policy which allocated visas according to notions of racial superiority. You heard that right: for most of the 20th century, our immigration laws were based on the “racial” notion that some Europeans were superior to others.”

That is a deliberately provocative and distorted version of the nation’s immigration history. Prior to the adoption of that act in 1965 the nation had a system of national quotas designed limit immigration and to reflect the pattern of immigration that had settled the country. It had the effect of giving preference to European migration over other regions, but it is false to say that it was based on race. It was appropriate to end the national origin quota system in 1965, but it did not make sense to resume the mass immigration that had led to the adoption of that system in the early 1920s.

Munoz was trying to substantiate the idea that the civil rights movement’s demand for an end to racial discrimination against the descendants of slaves should embrace amnesty for illegal aliens. To equate the circumstances of those who break into our country with those who were forcibly brought to this country as slaves is not only a perversion of history, it is an effort to justify accommodating the presence of the illegal aliens while having the effect of diminishing the hardships of those Americans who endured slavery and segregation in the past.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    This women is distorting history. The United States does not discriminate against Latino’s. However, for the vast majority of them that crossed our Southern Borders are not high skilled workers. Why don’t she admit to that? Remember, they have beat us over the head with it now for years. We come to work, although they have at every turn neglected to mention we come for all of your taxpaying dollars through our government sponsored programs. I would like for anyone to get just one of them to admit to that. Are sign a pledge that they will no longer take taxpayers sponsored benefits. Amnesty for these millions of lawbreakers will not solve our deficit problem it will on exacerbate it. Think about it; now when they are laid off, they will file unemployment, apply for more welfare benefits. I guess the next thing they will once again take to our streets in protest that we are not contributing enough because the welfare benefits they are currently receiving is not enough for a family of 14 to live on. I am in favor of cutting all benefits and allowing individuals to take personal responsibility for themselves and their families. Yes, you are Christian people, but if you choose to have a family no matter the size, it is also your responsibility to care for this family.
    These many programs that we have, have grown so large. They was created to help some of our below income families. When illegal aliens began to withdraw from these program funds in very large numbers it is pushing our very own citizens out of these programs. No more food stamps for illegals, no more childcare, free lunch for illegals. This is why they come and stay. Lets put a budget on healthcare, I know some private hospitals set a budget for uninsured and low wage recipients, once they reach that budget that it, you cannot get free healthcare at these facilities until budget time rolls around again. The only healthcare I am willing to pay for an illegal is in the case of saving a life. I mean, this individual is in cardiac arrest, in dire need of emergency attention. If you do not have the funds you do not get seen by the doctor. This is the BIGGEST SCAM that has effected every American. They care nothing about us or our culture. They do not wish to become Americans, they just want more of the programs that they have not yet been able to get too.

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    As long as Obama and his administration are in office and Senators like McCain and Graham are around the fact that immigration reform will always be on the table in one form or another. If the Obama administration would along with the DOJ enforce the laws that are already law especially the immigration enforcement laws, then we would not have all of these problems with illegal immigrants. Obama turns his head and face when illegals break our laws but insists American lawbreakers be punished to the extent of the law. We need a president, not a community organizer speaker who has been on the campaign trail for the last 5 years. He is not a leader but a big liar who can’t even remember the lie he’s told and blames everyone else for his non achievements. I will quit for now because it only gets worse and I need to stop now.

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    The truth and a fact is that this is no different from the Civil Rights…..illegals being abused………………

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    This amnesty that is wanted by some poor thinking politicians, will destroy America, there is no understanding why they just want to give America away on a silver platter! Why think an amnesty or legalization for millions or more illegal aliens will not get in the way of poor and middle class Americans make me sick! There is nothing wrong with America helping people, or immigrants, it must be in the right way, American do sworn in millions of illegal to become legal America citizens every year, America can only help so much people, there should be some kind of limitations, because of illegal immigration, America no longer have real laws, they had found ways to allow so much loopholes, excuses, strategies that all illegal aliens to do just about anything they want in America, their wrongdoings doesn’t mean anything any more, as a matter of fact, it is helping them to get rewarded amnesty or legalization! Illegal aliens have access to just about everything in America, our American birthrights is left wide open to them, regardless how they are taking advantage of it for their own purpose! Regardless of what our own politicians try to push down our throat about giving amnesty or legalization to millions of illegal aliens in America!

    America taking care of millions of another country poor, and this other country poor is already becoming the majority race in America, through passed amnesty and perhaps another, this in reality means that this country is and will be taken over by this other country’s poor, and this will leave Americans who have and have always had legal status here, second in line to jobs, and many other things in their own country! These illegal aliens who will have a change of status here, will always be the majority in millions of our jobs, they will get more job promotions, then the average Americans, millions of them will get ahead in jobs because of them being bilingual they are to help millions of their illegal aliens!! They will be American employers pick!!! Giving millions of illegal aliens any kind of amnesty or legalization will be putting them ahead of the line of those who are doing it right!!!

    Our president and many people in congress are trying to go down in history, with this big amnesty they want to give millions of illegal aliens, to bad we have no politicians like Eisenhower!!!!! America need no more dream act either, this will be nothing but bait for the gang of 8 immigration bill! congress is not going to give illegal aliens children amnesty or legalization with out their parents and other relatives!!!

    Politicians are trying to sell America a pipe dream when it come to amnesty or legalization to millions of illegal aliens! with this millions of Americans are going continue to find them selves jobless in their own country, especially black Americans, giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will lead America into a lost America, In millions of our jobs there is going to be silent corruptions, a lot of silent discrimination, with them winning mostly, and hardly no diversity, this is happening now, it is swept under the carpet, start taking notice of all this, just look around you now at many of our businesses, you mostly see a lot of Hispanics, and hardly no other race of people, there is always no black Americans, this is mainly in our hospitals, property managements in our apartment complexes, construction, and so many other jobs, this is happen in the San Diego area now, no one seem to see nothing wrong with this. because of illegal aliens, there are no more hire for youth programs, if there are, again mostly young Hispanics get hired! There are just to much focus on illegal aliens who have invaded America, there is not enough focus on getting jobless Americans back to work, or getting some job training programs for millions of poor and middle class Americans, and our own poor high school dropouts! and it should be more focus on immigration enforcement, workplace enforcement, focus on getting millions of illegal alien out of our jobs, and replace their jobs with millions of jobless Americans, American should not be force to watch another country poor work in their country while they are left jobless, our American law makers should be shame of them selves!!!

  5. avatar

    Actually, if I am not mistaken, prior to 1965 there were no numerical limits on immigration from Latin American countries, so “Latinos” were effectively favored over Europeans. It was the 1965 Act that limited immigration from Latin America.

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    Whatever happened a hundred years ago has nothing to do with allowing people to break the law. There are a couple dozen Latin majority countries in North and South America, so it’s not like Hispanics had nowhere to go. And to this day, it is part of Mexican law that those from Spanish speaking countries can get citizenship two years ahead of anyone else. Their laws also forbid those of foreign birth from holding many offices in Mexico. Only one office is off limits to those foreign born in this country, the presidency.

    If Celia Munoz is so interested in combating discrimination, she would do well to cast her attention south to Mexico. Including the fact that Amnesty International has excoriated the Mexican government for their flagrant mistreatment of those who cross into that country from their southern border.

  7. avatar

    Not only that, but the presence of illegal aliens contributes to the continuing economic inequality between Black and White Americans noted this week in the Washington Post. Illegal aliens drive down wages for those they compete with, especially Blacks and Hispanics.

    • avatar

      This true. When you are willing to accept any wage under the table you destroy wages for working Americans. Illegal Aliens have not kept cost from going through the roof, they have only kept wages from keeping up with cost.