You are browsing the archive for 2019 July 01.

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How Border-Crossing Became a Crime in the United States

July 1, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

In the early 20th century, it wasn’t a crime to enter the U.S. without authorization. Though authorities could still deport immigrants who hadn’t gone through an official entry point, they couldn’t be detained and prosecuted for a federal crime. But that all changed in 1929 when the U.S. passed a bill to restrict a group of immigrants it hadn’t really focused on before: people who crossed the U.S.-Mexican border.

“Before about the 1920s, most people don’t really see the border as a particularly problematic area,” says . “Moreover, U.S. authorities subjected Mexican immigrants, in particular, to kerosene baths and humiliating delousing procedures because they believed Mexican immigrants carried disease and filth on their bodies.”

Blease’s law passed and became Section 1325 of Title 8 in the U.S. Code. For the first time in U.S. history, the law made it a crime for some people to cross the border. With Section 1325, unlawful entry became a federal misdemeanor on the first offense, and a felony on the second. Both charges could result in fines or prison time. And although the law applied to all immigrants, the intent was to restrict immigration from Mexico.

In the first 10 years after Section 1325 passed, the U.S. used it to prosecute around 44,000 immigrants. However, this was a small number compared to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of immigrants whom nativists rounded up and deported in the Great Depression’s “repatriation drives” out of a belief that Mexicans were a drain on the economy.

How the Cold War Contributed to the Modern Central American Migrant Crisis (TV-PG; 6:09)

During World War II, prosecutions under Section 1325 decreased as the U.S. sought more labor for the war effort. In 1942, the U.S. started the Bracero Program to bring over more than 300,000 Mexican guest workers for short-term agricultural projects. This helped fill a labor shortage while many Americans were fighting overseas.

The Bracero Program continued until 1964, but even after it ended, the U.S. didn’t make prosecuting immigrants under Section 1325 a priority. Criminal prosecutors took time, money and resources, and presidential administrations opted instead to deport millions of Mexican immigrants without going through that process. It wasn’t until George W. Bush’s presidency that the U.S. began to prosecute people under Section 1325 more regularly.

These prosecutions continued under presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Section 1325 is the basis for the government’s separation of parents …read more


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Trump-Kim Jong Un Talks Shouldn't Focus on Getting North Korea to Give up Its Nukes

July 1, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

President Donald Trump’s Korea trip this past
weekend was a solid success in terms of showmanship and symbolism.
The visual of him shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the
demilitarized zone
and being the first sitting U.S. president
to enter North Korea was a special highlight. South Korean President Moon Jae-in had to be
pleased that his multi-year effort to ease tensions on the
peninsula and foster a U.S-North Korean dialogue seemed to be
paying dividends after the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in February.

We should not become overly impressed with flashy symbolism,
however. U.S. leaders still must confront the unpleasant reality
that Pyongyang is unlikely to abandon its modest nuclear capability. Such a deterrent is
North Korea’s ace in the hole to prevent the United States from
contemplating forcible regime change.

Instead, U.S. leaders must deal with the situation as it is, not
as they might wish it would be. North Korea is not going to return
to nuclear virginity, whatever the mixture of pressure and
incentives it faces. And America’s risk exposure in remaining on
the front lines militarily in Northeast Asia has become excessive.
Washington requires a new policy that reflects both of those

Trump must move beyond summits and their diplomatic atmospherics
regarding North Korea and begin to develop a normal relationship
with Pyongyang. That includes a peace treaty formally ending the
Korean War, establishing diplomatic relations between the two
countries and lifting all sanctions on products that do not have a
direct military application.

This is needed because effective diplomacy must focus on
achievable objectives. Continuing to demand that Pyongyang
capitulate and accept total denuclearization is pointless. A
settlement that limits North Korea’s nuclear and missile
capabilities is attainable, and it would substantially reduce the
danger of war on the Korean Peninsula — something that would
benefit the United States and global community.

After reducing its own tensions with Pyongyang, the U.S. should
hand the baton of regional leadership back to where it belongs: in
the region. Washington must inform North Korea’s neighbors that
they now need to assume primary responsibility for containing that

The long-standing U.S. security shield protecting its allies in
Northeast Asia was relatively low risk until the past few years,
since the DPRK had no ability to strike the American homeland. That
situation is now changing. U.S. intelligence agencies and
independent experts believe that Pyongyang might be able to hit
sites on America’s West Coast already, and it won’t be long before long-range North Korean
missiles could reach targets throughout the United …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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How the Battle of Gettysburg Turned the Tide of the Civil War

July 1, 2019 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

In a must-win clash, Union forces halted the northern invasion of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army.

In the first days of July 1863, two great armies converged at the small town of Gettysburg, in southern Pennsylvania. Begun as a skirmish between Union cavalry and Confederate infantry scouting for supplies, the battle escalated into one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

The Union’s eventual victory in the Battle of Gettysburg would give the North a major morale boost and put a definitive end to Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s bold plan to invade the North. Widely viewed as a key turning point in the war, the battle would take on even more importance later that year, when President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to dedicate the battlefield’s cemetery.

Lee’s ‘Invincible’ Army

By June of 1863, having just led his Army of Northern Virginia to a stunning victory in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee was riding high. From this position of strength, he convinced Confederate leaders to approve a bold strategy of invading Pennsylvania, hoping to deal the Yankees a crushing defeat on their home turf.

“Lee says more than once that he believes his men would be invincible,” explains Jennifer Murray, a history professor at Oklahoma State University and the author of On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013. A successful invasion of Union territory, the Confederate general hoped, would convince Northerners to abandon their support for Lincoln’s war effort in droves.

Accidental Meeting at Gettysburg

On June 28, with Lee’s army on the move in Pennsylvania, Lincoln removed Joseph Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing him with George G. Meade. This marked the third change of command seen by the Army of the Potomac in 1863.

“The Union soldiers are confident in themselves,” Murray says. “But they’re a little more questionable about their leadership, and about this string of commanders coming in again and again.”

General George Gordon Meade.

Along with the news of the command change, Lee soon learned that the Union troops were closer than he expected them to be. “[Lee’s] cavalry, led by J.E.B. Stuart, is out sort of joy riding, and not doing a really good job of bringing intelligence over to Lee,” Murray points out. Abandoning his plan to drive deeper into Pennsylvania, toward …read more


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Industrial Revolution

July 1, 2019 in History

By Editors

The Industrial Revolution marked a period of development in the latter half of the 18th century that transformed largely rural, agrarian societies in Europe and America into industrialized, urban ones.

Goods that had once been painstakingly crafted by hand started to be produced in mass quantities by machines in factories, thanks to the introduction of new machines and techniques in textiles, iron-making and other industries.

Fueled by the game-changing use of steam power, the Industrial Revolution began in Britain and spread to the rest of the world, including the United States, by the 1830s and ‘40s. Modern historians often refer to this period as the First Industrial Revolution, to set it apart from a

Photo Galleries

A young shrimp picker named Manuel, 1912.

View the 14 images of this gallery on the original article

The creation of the steam engine was a driving force behind the rise of mills and factories during the Industrial Revolution

View the 11 images of this gallery on the original article


Robert C. Allen, The Industrial Revolution: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007

Claire Hopley, “A History of the British Cotton Industry.” British Heritage Travel, July 29, 2006

William Rosen, The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention. New York: Random House, 2010

Gavin Weightman, The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World, 1776-1914. New York: Grove Press, 2007

Matthew White, “Georgian Britain: The Industrial Revolution.” British Library, October 14, 2009

…read more


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The Greatest Show on Earth: Trump's Trade Talks with China

July 1, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

BEIJING — Chinese officials are confident in their
nation’s rise, but are nervous about China’s deteriorating
relationship with the United States. Most of them are aware of
America’s strengths and their nation’s weaknesses and have no
interest in conflict. Left unsaid, but too obvious to miss, is the
fact that the assertive policies of their increasingly
authoritarian president have left the People’s Republic of China
weaker and more isolated in almost every respect.

But what makes many people most nervous are the increasingly
fractious economic ties. Although worsening recently, human rights
always has been a contentious bilateral topic. Pressure on Taiwan
and Hong Kong has been building, but only the speed is surprising.
Views on Beijing’s role in North Korea always varied widely. The
PRC’s more aggressive pursuit of its territorial claims in nearby
waters has been matched by greater toughness by those governments
with conflicting claims. Recent changes have been in degree, not

But that does not hold true for the commercial relationship.
Since the United States and China grew increasingly close in the
1980s the bedrock foundation of the bilateral bond was economics.
With seemingly endless low-cost labor, China multiplied
possibilities for international supply chains. American consumers
were significant and conspicuous beneficiaries. Companies also
imagined themselves doing well. Finally, it appeared, they had
access to the long-fabled illimitable markets of China. Whenever
Washington-Beijing ties were challenged, much of the American
business community rushed to defend its ever more important trading

Donald Trump is no master
negotiator. His demand for amending the Seoul free trade agreement
and NAFTA was satisfied by minimal changes. He will likely yield
the same results from Beijing.

All that has changed. A rising, aggressive China is triggering
security fears in Washington. U.S. policymakers long treated the
Pacific, up to the PRC’s coast, as an American lake, but Beijing is
threatening to force the U.S. military away from nearby waters. The
detention of a million Uighurs, systematic attack on religious
liberty, and crackdown on Internet access and academic freedom are
generating intense human-rights criticism. Strengthening this
antagonistic crescendo are those who argue that America made a
mistake originally engaging with China and thereby enriching what
now should be treated as an adversary if not enemy.

This withering assault has faced little resistance. Unlike in
the past, American business is not leading the China defense team,
which essentially means there is no China defense team. Frustration
with Beijing’s manipulation of economic rules to the disadvantage
of Western companies has soured investors and traders on the China
market. They are sitting out this fight.

In fact, when President Donald Trump initiated his trade war,
many firms cheered. There was …read more

Source: OP-EDS