The issue of immigration is again making headlines. In July 2021, encounters between aspiring entrants into the United States and U.S. Border Patrol reached nearly 200,000, the highest monthly total since March 2000. At the same time, agricultural and service industry interests nationwide clamor for workers. Arkansas, desperate to attract labor, passed legislation making it easier for immigrants to find and keep work in the state. This month, historian Maysan Haydar shows how this tension between attracting labor and xenophobic restrictionism has been a constant through the history of American immigration.

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