It is no secret that by 1965 the Democratic Party’s future looked bleak. The exploitation of black-white tensions—the Democrats’ bread-and-butter—no longer looked like a “growth industry.” To stave off their political decline the Democrats needed a new strategy. They needed new voters.
Enter the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. This legislation (and the political zeitgeist animating its passage) had two primary effects. First, it opened the floodgates and ushered in the modern era of mass immigration. Since 1965, more than 45 million people have immigrated to the United States. This influx greatly increased America’s foreign-born population. Consider that fully 14 percent of people living in America today are foreign-born. In 1970, this figure was a mere 5 percent….