Skip to content


News Posted on February 10, 2017

Dean Johnson Comments for CNN on Immigration Policy

Dean Kevin R. Johnson commented for a article comparing the Immigration Act of 1917 with President Trump’s recent executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority from entering the United States.  The 1917 legislation restricted immigration from the Middle East and Asia with taxes, tests, and outright bans, drawing criticism abroad but garnering support in the United States.

"In some ways this is kind of back to the future," said Johnson. The 1917 law was popular with an American public worried over the “Red Scare” of communism and well accustomed to legalized discrimination, he said. "In 1917, segregation and Jim Crow is alive and well and keeping out Chinese from the country and all Asians seems as normal and natural as apple pie."

Kevin R. Johnson is Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o studies at UC Davis School of Law. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.