United States immigration policies are designed as deterrents to immigration into the United States. Frankly, their message has always been "Stay out!" Recently, California policies have taken a harsher stab at immigration, namely Mexican immigrants that constitute the largest Latin American minority in the United States. This paper intends to examine these policies, the effects they have had on the Mexican population in California, and the connection they have to the anti-immigrant sentiment felt throughout the country.
First, though, looking closely at anti-immigrant sentiment in America and policies that have been enacted in the past by the U.S. are necessary to the understanding of the nature of Mexican immigration, legal and illegal, and the subsequent passage of the policies in California.
In the 1920s, congressional restrictionists in the U.S. deemed Mexicans objectionable to immigration into the United States because of their "mixed breed" status.(1) Having been exempted from the national origins quota and the numerical limitation system, in 1924, these restrictionists succeeded in establishing a militarized Border Patrol along the U.S.-Mexico border. (2) The U.S. Department of State, though, in conjunction with U.S. agricultural interests, claimed that the quota system would be interpreted as an "unfriendly act" and would "jeopardize [...] negotiations to relieve the plight of nationalized American businesses".(3) It is this exclusion from the national quota limitation system that is responsible for the great influx of immigrants from Canada and Mexico. (4) The U.S., though, finally placed a ceiling on the number of immigrants from Canada and Mexico in the form of the I...
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...m and Myron Weiner, Eds. Threatened Peoples, Threatened Borders:
World Migration and U.S. Policy, Pg. 91.
10. Figures in the above paragraph are taken from Threatened Peoples, Threatened
Borders, Pgs. 92-93.
11. Ibid. Pg. 92.
12. Larry M. Eig, "California’s Proposition 187: A Brief Overview".
13. Stuart Taylor Jr., "Crazy in California".
14. Pete Wilson, "Appeals Court Must Overturn Activist Proposition 187 Ruling".
15. Editorial, "Dreams deferred".
17. Paul Elias, "Prop 227 Suit Has Familiar Ring".
19. Stanley Mailman, "California’s Proposition 187 and Its Lessons".
20. Robin Cohen and Zig Layton-Henry Eds., The Politics of Migration. Pg. 157.
21. Michael S. Teitlebaum and Myron Weiner, Eds., Threatened Peoples, Threatened
Borders: World Migration and U.S. Policy, Pg. 175.
22. Ibid. Pg. 20.
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