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 no restrictions” on who was allowed to immigrate (LeMay 6). The main reason for this was because the United States felt they were underpopulated and therefore “actively sought immigrants” (LeMay 10). At the same time Europe was overpopulated and could not support all of the people (Gerber 75). This combination led to over 10 million immigrants, coined the “old immigrants”, coming to the United States, a majority of them from northwestern Europe (LeMay 13-14). A large group of Chinese immigrants also immigrated into the United States, a majority of them onto the West Coast (LeMay 20). The Irish Potato Famine and economic depression throughout Europe were two major push factors for immigrants out of Europe (LeMay 14). Because the German and Irish immigrants were “oppressed and persecuted” in their home lands, they were welcomed into the United States (Vigdor 32). The commercialization of parts of the old world made it much more difficult for people of lower social classes to own land and achiev...
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...97). Due to technology and the ease of travel, it is becoming much easier to immigrate and many more immigrants are not immigrating for the purpose of job seeking alone (Vigdor 30). However, many companies are facing penalties for hiring unauthorized workers, despite the fact that they can not afford to employ authorized workers at full wage (Gerber 58-59). However, immigration policy is becoming increasingly restrictive to protect again illegal immigrants and terrorists (LeMay 7). Increased border patrol is a major method used for this (LeMay 28).
From the creation of the Constitution to the 2016 Presidential Election, immigration has been a part of our history. The United States has always been composed of people from various backgrounds. However, despite changing waves and time, many of the similar push and pull factors drive immigration into the United States.
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