Research Mentor

Jeanne Armstrong

Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



Immigration, El Salvador, Guatemala, Policy, Asylum, Refugee, WWII, 9/11, Immigrant, Undocumented, Perception, Detainment, Intervention


This paper looks into Guatemalan and Salvadoran history and immigration in the late 20th Century and identifies how these patterns compare to and continue to affect present day immigration policy. By examining the difference between how immigration policy was handled prior and after the events that occurred on 9/11, the reader will be able to distinguish how social perception of immigrants in the U.S. changed drastically with the span of a few months. By examining the history of immigration policy post-WWII, the reader will be able to identify that aid such as providing asylum has historically contributed to systematic oppression of non-European communities that severely required assistance. By examining policies such as political asylum, which prevents immigrants from returning to their homelands, readers will also be able to understand how certain immigration reform has historically been catered towards specific groups, and in doing so, do not support other communities, such as Central Americans. These issues continue to be seen in modern day politics, specifically in the 2016 presidential campaigns. This paper will actively deconstruct the oppressive nature of immigration policy and interventionist policy and instead, will call upon differing proposed solutions to aiding immigrants seeking asylum and refuge.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Guatemalans--United States; Salvadorans--United States; Emigration and immigration--United States--20th century; Emigration and immigration--United States--21st century; Immigrants--United States--Social conditions

Geographic Coverage

United States--Emigration and immigration--Government policy; El Salvador--Emigration and immigration; Guatemala--Emigration and immigration