It would be hard to find a clearer illustration of the topic than this article (written from the vehemently discrimination-negative left). The stakes are so clear that detailed commentary is entirely otiose. Some snippets:
The contrast was stark. One group of South Asians had become objects of fear and derision and targets of immigration enforcement and extra-legal violence. Another group of South Asians was being heralded for their social, economic, and cultural contributions to the United States. … the complexities that lay beneath the surface of “South Asian” identity were flattened into a powerful binary; South Asian Americans were either model minorities or national threats. … But this was not merely a post–9/11 phenomenon. In fact, the division between the feared and the desired, the denigrated and the celebrated, has been a defining feature of South Asian racialization in the United States for over one hundred years. … for decades, federal immigration laws and popular culture have worked together to make these distinctions, to distinguish desirable from undesirable South Asians. … Between 1904 and 1917 … xenophobia and Indophilia were not simply contradictory attitudes that played out in two separate social spheres — that is, South Asians were not simply denigrated in political debates over immigration restriction while they were simultaneously celebrated in popular culture. Instead, each sphere generated its own set of distinctions between who was desirable and who was not, and each set of distinctions reinforced the other. … the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1885 Alien Contract Labor Law, and the 1917 Immigration Act were never straightforward acts of Asian exclusion, nor was the 1965 Hart-Cellar Immigration Act — the law that is credited with ending the exclusion era — an act that fully “opened the door” to Asian immigration. All four of these Acts — in effect and in intent — helped define who within Asian populations was welcome and who was not. … the so-called exclusion laws introduced a logic that certain South Asians were admissible — or desirable — because of their class, education, and profession. This was ultimately the logic enshrined in the “occupational preferences” provisions of the 1965 Immigration Act; the legislation brought thousands of South Asian doctors, engineers, and other professionals to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, while keeping working-class migration to a minimum. … Orientalism is a double-edged set of ideas, standards, and expectations. In the realms of both immigration law and popular culture, the desired and the denigrated have always been inextricably linked; they are defined in relation to one another, with a line drawn between them.
As with most leftist tirades, the effect of this discussion is to engender appreciation for those few fraying fibers of sound public policy and cultural discernment that might otherwise be overlooked. I’m willing to grant the possible advantages of further, more minute discrimination. The fact that discrimination is occurring at all, however, is an indication that — even in this advanced stage of Cathedral dominion — sanity is not altogether dead.