Knowing the History of “The Huddled Masses”

AILA member John Medeiros wrote an article for the Spring 2022 edition of the AILA Law Journal entitled “The Huddled Masses.” In this blog post he reflects on the topic and why he feels readers should know more about the evolution of U.S. immigration law and policy over the course of the country’s history.

Anyone who wishes to practice immigration law in this country must understand two things: the stories of those who have immigrated – both willingly and unwillingly – to the United States, and the development of laws that have prevented others from doing so.  America’s immigration laws have been widely based on exclusion, rather than inclusion. On taking from, rather than giving to.

Taking the reader on a journey that begins several thousand years ago, The Huddled Masses is a literary exploration that pays homage to famed Uruguayan journalist, novelist, and social commentator Eduardo Galeano. The essay fuses legal analysis with elements of poetry and creative nonfiction to chronicle the history of U.S. immigration and the development of U.S. immigration law.

Be sure to read The Huddled Masses in the most recent issue of the AILA Law Journal.


AILA members, your digital edition of the AILA Law Journal is, as always, FREE. Don’t hesitate to take a look and learn more through John’s writing and the pieces from several other AILA members on substantive topics such as Special Immigrant Visas, EOIR hiring practices, and more. Also, enjoy the special pieces in this, our 75th anniversary edition, including photos and more personal reflections.

And for those attending Annual Conference in NYC, June 15-18, 2022, please stop by the AILA Agora publications table to peruse previous editions of the AILA Law Journal!

by John Medeiros