OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Walter D. Kamphoefner

Portrait of Walter D. Kamphoefner

Walter D. Kamphoefner has taught at Texas A&M University since 1988 and has written widely on immigration and ethnicity, with articles in four languages and three authored or coedited books in German and English. Since publishing a pioneering transatlantic study, The Westfalians: From Germany to Missouri (1987), he has worked extensively with immigrant letters and on bilingual education and the immigrant language transition. He served as president of the Society for German American Studies from 2015 to 2017. While his research focuses primarily on German immigrants, he also regularly teaches a course on multiethnic immigration, past and present, and occasionally publishes editorials on the subject.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

It's not what people don't know about immigration that worries me; it's the things they know that simply aren't true. Trump was lying by the third word of his anti-Mexican diatribe: "Mexico doesn't send . . ." Mexico doesn't send anyone; they come on their own, though in much smaller numbers than they used to. Chain migration is older than the U.S., and was much more widespread before immigration restriction than it is now. English language acquisition is proceeding as fast as ever. U.S. immigration policy needs to be based on facts, not myths.