20 St. Thomas L. Rev. 513 (2007-2008)
Of Inferior Stock: The Two-Pronged Repression of Radical Immigrant Birth Control Advocates at the Turn-of-the Twentieth Century

handle is hein.journals/stlr20 and id is 519 raw text is: 






    OF INFERIOR STOCK: THE TWO-PRONGED
  REPRESSION OF RADICAL IMMIGRANT BIRTH
  CONTROL ADVOCATES AT THE TURN-OF-THE-
                   TWENTIETH CENTURY

               CSAR CUAUHTItMOC GARCIA HERNANDEZ*
I.     Introdu ction  .........................................................................................  5 13
II.    Birth Control: A  Threat to  M orality .................................................... 516
III.   Immigration Law and the Threat of the Dysgenic Hordes .................. 521
IV.    Convergence of Immigration Law & Criminal Law ........................... 527
V .    C onclusion ..........................................................................................  536


                          I. INTRODUCTION
     In a decision of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Robert H.
Jackson wrote: Nothing opens the door to arbitrary action so effectively as
to allow those officials to pick and choose only a few to whom they will
apply legislation and thus to escape the political retribution that might be
visited upon them   if larger numbers were affected.'   Though Jackson
wrote these words in 1949, in a decision involving the rather mundane
topic of advertisements on the sides of freight trucks in New York City,
political activists three decades earlier might have welcomed his warning.'
The story of radical immigrant birth control advocates at the turn-of-the-
twentieth century exemplified the arbitrary application of coercive
legislation to a few that Jackson decried. As the nineteenth century gave
way to the twentieth century, three social phenomena swept the nation:
middle class white women developed political organizations; large
numbers of impoverished migrants from southern and eastern Europe


* B.A., with Honors, Brown University, 2002; J.D., Boston College Law School, 2007. I would
like to thank Professor Angela Harris and the rest of the LatCrit Student Scholar selection
committee for their enthusiastic support of this project. Their support allowed me to present this
research at LatCrit XII where I benefited from the insight of many people, in particular Professor
Colin Crawford. I would also like to thank Professor Kristin Collins for her willingness to
provide me the space in which to initially explore these ideas. Many thanks to Margaret B.
Kwoka and Bekah Mandell for their invaluable feedback on early drafts of this article.
    1. See Ry. Express Agency, Inc. v. New York, 336 U.S. 106, 112 (1949) (Jackson, J.,
concurring). Justice Jackson also wrote: [Tihere is no more effective practical guaranty against
arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials
would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally. Id.
   2. Id.


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