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Different Periods In The Door-Ajar Cycle By Michael Lemay

Immigration can best be split up into distinct eras with regard to the immigration policies at the time. Immigration laws and policies are the most influential factor because they are driving who is allowed into the country and also influencing public opinion on immigrants. Immigration can be split into 5 distinct times periods, the tittles used for each of the periods in the essay are borrowed from Michael LeMay. Despite very distinct characteristics of each period of immigration, there are many trends that carry over and can be found in each of the time periods. The first distinct period of immigration is from 1820 to 1880, coined the open door cycle by LeMay. In these year, immigrants were welcomed into the United States with “virtually…show more content…
These immigrants were coined the “new immigrants” and were composed of 23.5 million people, mainly from Southern, Central and Eastern Europe with other immigrants from Japan (LeMay 14-15). Many Jewish people immigrated from the Ukraine and Poland due to political unrest in Russia (Vigdor 36). From the other side of Europe “the largest single country-of-origin group of the early twentieth century, Italians, constituted the largest cohort of “job-seeking” migrants” (Vigdor 36). With the nativist mindset from the previous period many felt that these new immigrants were inferior and therefore unable to assimilate into society, leading to an intense xenophobic mindset (LeMay 21). Other immigrant groups fell into cultural roles such as Japanese immigrants becoming fruit and vegetable farmers and Mexican immigrants working in factories (Gerber 84). Immigrants as an entire group sent home millions of dollars from their work in the United States (Gerber 79). However, as a lot of the available land from the early 1800’s was taken, many more workers became birds of passage as opposed to permanent immigrants (Gerber 82). This period began with the start of some restrictions, as called for the end of the Open-Door Cycle (LeMay 6). The Chinese Exclusion Act was created as a response to the Open Door Cycle in hopes of controlling increasing numbers of Chinese immigrants looking for land…show more content…
Immigration rose from the previous time period but because parts of Eastern Europe were restricted by the Soviet Union, 50% of the immigration came from the western hemisphere (Gerber 52, LeMay 15). Other parts if the world saw a loosening of authoritarian regime (Gerber 86). The 1975 fall of South Vietnam led to an influx of immigrant from South Vietnam (Vigdor 41). The Hispanic population also rose dramatically, replacing African Americans as the majority minority population (Gerber 90). However, the shift of industry in the United States caused immigrant to spread out throughout the country to states that have never dealt with mass immigration before (Gerber 89). However, attempts were made to slow immigration, especially illegal immigration (LeMay 27). Less attention was paid to country of origin and in 1968 national quotas were dropped (Gerber 51). The number of available visas dropped however it became easier to get a visa for the purpose of reuniting a family (Vigdor 29, Gerber 52). Many people choose to immigrate to the United States for similar reasons as the past: population growth abroad, instability and war abroad and media glorifying the American Dream (Gerber 87). However, immigrants were drawn to the United State because of their geographic proximity to other parts of the world, welcoming immigration laws and media and consumer goods that have infiltrated

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