Immigration Reform The Great American Melting Pot Or Just Tomato Soup

Good Essays
Immigration law and reform tend to be a major issue in American Society and Politics today. Numerous immigrants come across the border today into the United States seeking freedom, jobs and a better way of life which is not much different than what people were doing when this country was first established. The birth of the United States came from immigrants of various races, nationalities and cultures that developed the foundation of where it stands today. With all these various groups of individuals coming together a metaphor was coined from a 1908 play as America being the “Melting Pot” as all these groups broke from the segregation provided from their homeland into Communities where all were lived together. Was it though, as popular beliefs began to change and the “White Majority” began to discriminate against those that were not their kind or considered beneath them, creating Social Ladders that eliminated equality between citizens. Immigration Laws were developed that would prohibit, limit or ban certain individuals and groups from fulfilling their dreams as citizen. When looking at these laws, regulations and cultural idea changes it seems that the Great Melting Pot might have been more like Tomato Soup one single ingredient and flavour.
Prior to 1790 there were no real requirements for Naturalization as an American citizen all were welcome, until the First Congress passed the Naturalization Act requiring a two year residency requirement for naturalization without any restrictions. This act started off simple but as times changed and more immigrants southern and eastern Europeans found their way to the United States, citizens began to call for reform in the immigration legislation. Public opinion was changing to that of Soc...

... middle of paper ...

...ial Committee on Chinese Immigration. "Chinese Immigration: It's Social, Moral, and Political Effect." Sacremento, 1878, 275.

Hutchinson, Edward P. "Immigration Policy Since World War I." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science ( Sage Publications, Inc), 1949: 15-21.

Jr., James R. Edwards. "Public Charge Doctrine: A Fundamental Principle of American Immigration Policy." Center for Immigration Studies, 2001.

Lee, Erika. "The Chinese Exclusion Example: Race, Immigration, and American Gatekeeping, 1882-1924." Journal of American Ethnic History , Vol. 21, No. 3, 202: 36-52.

Pula, James S. "American Immigration Policy and the Dillingham Commission." Polish American Studies , Vol. 37, No. 1, 1980: 5-31.

Vialet, Joyce C. A Brief History of U.S. Immigration Policy. CRS Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service Library of Congress, 1991.
Get Access