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Immigration was a central issue of the 2016 presidential campaign, though until his first week in office it was unclear whether Trump really intended to build the wall and expel the undocumented. Today the Department of Homeland Security unveiled a new set of policies and regulations that will endeavor to make good on Trump’s campaign promises.

What do we mean when we speak of “open borders,” or say that “America is a nation of immigrants”? How do you define what it means to be American?

We are releasing three articles from our new issue’s “What is America for?” symposium (for a limited time) that address these questions from three divergent perspectives:

A Nation Doesn’t Need Walls: A Conversation on the Border
with Francisco Cantú and John Washington

The border is usually represented in the national imagination with very little nuance. I’m interested in representing it in a way that acknowledges the very fraught and tragic place we’ve arrived at. This is a more emotional argument, one that many might dismiss as typical bleeding-heart liberal babble, but I think it’s so important.

A Country Is a Country
by Michael S. Kochin

To be true to their own principles of equality and government limited by law, Americans have to insist that those who become Americans do so according to the forms and procedures established by law. Their admission should not be exceptions to the law granted as favors by rulers who see themselves as above the American people and above the laws that the American people and their constitutionally appointed representatives have made.

Negative Growth
by José Ángel N.

When I am invited to share my experience as an undocumented man with different communities, I often find myself puzzled by the misconceptions I encounter. An older gentleman stands up and demands one goddamn good reason not to call the police on me at that very moment. But then we would not be able to have a discussion, I answer.

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issue-13-button

These articles all appear in
issue 13 of The Point.
To read the rest of the issue
(featuring an extended symposium
on the question “What is America for?”)
subscribe now.

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