By Producer
msnbc.com
updated 7/9/2007 4:00:52 PM ET 2007-07-09T20:00:52

The immigration debate currently gripping the United States typically focuses on low-skilled labor crossing the southern border or the threat of terrorists slipping through the system, past our guard. In her new book "Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans," Jean Phaelzer gives the issue a longer view through the context of Chinese immigrants.  Going back to the gold rush and extending through the Civil War and the turn of the century, Phaelzer exposes a largely forgotten history of violent discrimination.

Pfaelzer joined MSNBC.com's Will Femia on the phone to talk about what motivated anti-immigrant sentiment then and the lessons we can draw from that period in considering the matter in present day.

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