In Whom We Shall Welcome, Danielle Battisti examines post–World War II immigration by Italians to the United States. The book looks at efforts by Italian American organizations to foster Italian immigration along with the lobbying efforts of others in the community to change the quota laws. While Italian Americans (and other white ethnics) had attained virtual political and social equality with many other ethnic populations by the end of the war, Italians nonetheless continued to be classified as undesirable immigrants. Battisti’s work is an important contribution toward understanding the construction of Italian American racial/ethnic identity in this period, the role of ethnic groups in US foreign policy in the Cold War–era, and the history of the liberal immigration-reform movement that led to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
Presented by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, CUNY, as part of the Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series in Italian American Studies.