Red Scare Deportations

1919 — 1920

United States

Activism & Resistance Borders Discrimination & Inequity

The U.S. government sponsored an anti-leftist crusade known as the first “Red Scare,” through which immigrants were especially hard hit by government crackdowns on leftist political radicals and those considered susceptible to leftist propaganda.
In the wake of the 1917 Russian Revolution and in the context of a wave of labor militancy, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer led a series of raids between 1919 and 1920, resulting in the deportation of hundreds of immigrants, particularly from Russia. The period was also marked by many civil rights abuses against labor leaders, anarchists, communists, and socialists. Among those deported in 1919 was Emma Goldman, a Russian Jewish immigrant who emerged as an internationally renowned public figure in the labor, anarchist, and women’s rights movements of the early twentieth century.