Historical Background: Colonial America and The United States that followed were created by repeated waves of immigration. Those immigrants came from every part of the globe, but particularly from England, France, Germany, and Western Europe. The descendants of this first wave of immigrants would view later immigrants from Italy, Poland, and Russia with a great deal of suspicion and uncertainty. This is not surprising as our country’s uncertainty about immigrants is reflected in our policies. For instance, there were no numerical restrictions or central regulation on immigration until one hundred years after our nation’s founding. When they were finally introduced they were created with bias against would be immigrants from certain countries. Among the first on that list were Chinese laborers followed by immigrants from the Asian Pacific (Ewing, 2012). These restrictions were first adopted in 1921, and were in favor of European immigrants. They would later be followed by national quotas that placed restrictions on immigrants based on existing proportions of the population. A shortage in laborers brought on by World War II would result in lifting those restrictions. This eventually led to a growth in immigration and a change in the origin of those arriving from Europe to Latin America and Asia. As the number immigrants from these countries began to grow, so did the concern about the number of them who were illegal (Ewing, 2012). Resulting policies issued to address those concerns would arguably lead to a resurgence of the problem that they were intended to correct. Open Door Policy: Throughout the colonial era, there was no centralized regulation of immigration to North America. Relaxed immigration policies brought tens of m... ... middle of paper ... ...//www.immigrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/docs/opportunity_exclusion_011312.pdf Kanazawa, Mark. "Immigration, Exclusion, and Taxation: Anti-Chinese Legislation in Gold Rush California". The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Sep., 2005), pp. 779-805. Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Economic History Association. The Ellis Island Foundation (2010). Ellis Island - The Peopling of America. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from http://www.ellisisland.org/immexp/wseix_5_1.asp? The Immigration Act of 1924 (The Johnson-Reed Act) - 1921–1936 - Milestones - Office of the Historian. (1924). Retrieved January 20, 2014, from http://history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/immigration-act Martin, Philip (2006-07-03). "The Bracero Program: Was It a Failure?" History News Network, 3 July 2006. Retrieved from http://hnn.us/articles/27336.html.
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The Burlingame Treaty of 1868 encouraged Chinese immigration for work on railroads and southern plantations while simultaneously withholding the privilege of naturalization. This encouraged the emergence of ‘coolie’ laborers, whose passage into the United States was paid for under the agreement that they would work as indentured servants for a pre-determined period of time. Although the Chinese helped build the transcontinental railroad, their unusual style of dress still created prejudice against their ethnicity. This lead to the creation of Chinatowns as a necessary cultural barrier used for protection against the rest of society. After encouraging Chinese immigration, the government realized that these immigrants would procreate and needed to decide what immigration status children born in America would hold. The Naturalization Act of 1870 was the solution to this question, declaring any child born in the United States a citizen of the country, regardless of the race of the child. This necessarily lead to more immigration restrictions since a...
Henretta, James A and David* Brody. America: A concise History . Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. Document.
Between 1880 and 1920 almost twenty-four million immigrants came to the United States. Between better salaries, religious freedom, and a chance to get ahead in life, were more than enough reasons for leaving their homelands for America. Because of poverty, no future and various discrimination in their homelands, the incentive to leave was increasing. During the mid-1800's and early 1900's, the labor and farm hands in Eastern Europe were only earning about 15 to 30 a day. In America, they earned 50 cents to one dollat in a day, doubling their paycheck. Those lower wage earners in their homeland were st...
During the 1900’s through 1950’s the United States experienced an influx of immigrants coming in from Mexico seeking employment opportunities, as many of them wanted to avoid the Mexican Revolution occurring from 1910 to 1920. Methods for arriving in the United States varied for each individual’s preference of the destination, but the means of transportation had been constant throughout. These methods of transportation consisted of contractors seeking unskilled workers willing to partake in hard labor in steel, railroad, or agriculture companies. Contractors traveled to towns close to Mexico’s boarder such as Laredo or El Paso seeking Mexicans citizens for labors. In some instances, immigrants traveled on their own will based on the advice
"America's Story from America's Library." America's Story from America's Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014. .
The United States has often been referred to as a global “melting pot” due to its assimilation of diverse cultures, nationalities, and ethnicities. In today’s society, this metaphor may be an understatement. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of foreign born United States residents nearly doubled from 20 million to 40 million, increasing the U.S. population from almost 250 million to 350 million people. With U.S. born children and grandchildren of immigrants, immigration contributed to half of this population growth. These immigrants, consisting of mostly Asian and Hispanic backgrounds, have drastically changed the composition of the U.S. population. In 2010, Asians and Hispanics made up 20 percent of the U.S. population, in contrast to a 6 percent share of Asians and Hispanics in 1970. It is predicted that by 2050, the share of immigrants in the United States will increase to one half of the entire population. With this rapid increase in diversity, many citizens have opposing views on its impact on the United States. In my opinion, an increase in immigration does contain both positive and negatives effects, but in general it provides an overriding positive influence on America’s society (“Population”).
Immigration has always and will always be an essential part of America’s demographic and cultural diversity. Our country was founded on the immigration of Europeans to the New World; without them our nation would not be as advanced as it is today. Over the past three centuries, America’s immigration policies have evolved, both positively and negatively. Although we are moving forward, several episodes in our country’s immigration policy have targeted and attacked certain ethnic or cultural groups. Throughout America there is disparity regarding attitudes toward immigrants. Policies fluctuate throughout the entire country, different states, and even major cities. As the United States moves forth, it is vital that we remember how crucial immigrants
When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, he said, “[t]his bill that we sign today is not a revolutionary bill”, underestimating the change that would come about from the signing of this law. The Immigration Act was passed in the midst of much reform and civil rights activism in the United States and banned discrimination in the issuance of visas due to “‘race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence’”(Fitzgerald, Cook-Martin, 2015). It counteracted the immigration policy that had been in place since the 1920’s. This policy was the National Origins Act, which restricted the immigration of foreign-born people into the United States based on nationality. Most immigrants
Immigration in America is often broken down into distinct “waves”. These waves were the greatest influxes of immigration into the United States. The first settlements consisted of people from Spain, (in Florida) England, (in Virginal and Massachusetts), and others from France, Sweden, the Netherlands and sadly the slaves from Africa (Matthews, 2013). These people were the foundations of a nation that from its beginning was already multicultural, but still considered American. The second wave of immigration was in the 1800’s. 4 million Irish immigrants and 6 million German immigrants flocked to the eastern shores of the United States to escape from bad economies, hunger, and war. Tapering off during the Civil War another influx in the second wave of immigration happened after its conclusion. Hailing from Sweden, Norway and Denmark, these immigrants once again sought American shores to escape hard times in their home countries, this time shrinking land holds being the reason. After the discovery of gold in 1849 yet another influx of immigration boomed. With though...
America is a nation consisting of many immigrants: it has its gates opened to the world. These immigrants transition smoothly and slowly from settlement, to assimilation then citizenship. These immigrants are first admitted lawfully as permanent residents before they naturalize to become full citizens. In her book “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America”, the historian Mae Ngai draws our attention to the history of immigration and citizenship in America. Her book examines an understudied period of immigration regulation between 1924 and 1965.
For over ten years, efforts to make changes to the United States immigration system have been put aside due to wars, attacks within our homeland and even worldwide financial crisis but it seems as though this being brought up more and more often. The history of the US immigration policy was more concerned with immigration enforcement over immigration reform. It was not until a few years ago that the US citizens voted they were tired of enforcement-only immigration policies and the pain they caused on immigrant families. So most feel now is the time to draw up new immigration laws that reflect American values and beliefs, and it ne...
The United State’s immigration policy has undergone great change since the turn of the 20th century. Many things have contributed to this change, such as political problems, poverty, lack of jobs, and in fact our changing policy. The countries affected by these problems may have changed but the problems themselves have not. No matter what the location or time period, people have been driven from their homeland as result of political disputes. There will always be poor, 3rd world countries that can not create a prosperous environment for their people. As a result of general poverty, few jobs are available, which forces citizens to look beyond the borders for work. Our changing immigration policy is motivation for some immigrants to come to America. If the U.S. is accepting a high number of one country’s immigrants, than many of their citizens will emigrate for America, some legally and others illegally. The United State’s has changed its immigration policy many times in the last 100 years but the reasons for resettlement have remained generally the same.