Our historical ambivalence about immigrants is a great American paradox

PASSIONS WERE HIGH, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE United States was eager to act. In 1798, John Adams, amid talk of war with France, signed the Alien and Sedition Acts to, in his view, protect the national interest against internal dissent and outside agitation. Passed by a Federalist-controlled Congress, the laws, among other things, increased the number of years applicants for citizenship had to wait and authorized the President to deport any foreigner he deemed dangerous to the

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