More immigrants than any other country Essay

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History of U.S. Immigration Policies

The United States has taken in more immigrants than any other state in the universe. Because of this, in-migration has ever been an issue in American society. Even though every individual populating in the United States is an immigrant or is the descendent of an immigrant, there are still those who are against allowing immigrants in, while others feel that immigrants are portion of what makes our state so great. Looking at the history of U.S. in-migration policies lets you see the rhythm that occurs when a new race/culture of immigrants comes to the United States and the bias they have to travel through earlier being accepted by society.

The first immigrants in the United States arrived sometime between 30,000 B.C. and 12,000 B.C. by traversing the Bering Strait. By the clip Christopher Columbus came in 1942 there was already about 1 million Indians that occupied the land that finally became the United States ( Morrow, Immigration: Blessing or Burden? ) . Finally, the Spanish and Gallic and English came to research the different parts of North America. The English started constructing the 13 settlements along the Atlantic Coast and by 1776 the settlements declared their independency from England. By this clip, there was an estimated 2.5 million people populating in what is now the United States, half a million of these people being slaves ( Daniels ) .

During the early 1800s, the U.S. authorities did non modulate in-migration, but left the undertaking to the single provinces. Anyone who arrived by boat, or walked across the state ‘s boundary lines became Americans ( Morrow, Immigration ) . Even though there was an “ open-door policy ” most new immigrants were non welcomed heartily. Between 1820 and 1870 about 7.5 million fledglings entered the United States and about all of them came from northern and western Europe. By 1860, there were around 1.5 million Germans life in the United States and by 1870, 4.7 million Irish had come to the United States ( Morrow, Immigration ) . Both the Irish and Germans suffered from bias and ill will from native-born Americans. The Irish and Germans lived in a preponderantly Protestant society and there was a batch of negative feelings towards them because they were Catholics. The Irish were besides seen as being “ foul, bad tempered, and given to imbibe ” , and the Germans were perceived as clannish by their English speech production neighbours ( Morrow, Immigration ) .

Though the anti-immigrant ill will directed toward the Irish and Germans was bad, Asiatic immigrants had it worse simply because of the fact that they were non white. It started when the first Chinese immigrants arrived in California during the 1840s and worked in California ‘s gold Fieldss. At first the Chinese were welcomed in the United States but as the Gold Rush and the economic system faltered, ill will against the Chinese increased. Chinese immigrants were hired to delve irrigation canals and construct the Central Pacific Railroad, but their rewards were merely 2/3 of what white workers earned. Besides, unlike the European immigrants during the same period, the Chinese could non go citizens of the United States because of the 1790 Federal Naturalization Law that limited privilege of citizenship to Whites. As clip passed, the ill will toward Asians increased and led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 ( Diner ) . This jurisprudence disqualified most Chinese workers from come ining the United States and specifically prohibited Chinese immigrants from going citizens ( Morrow, Immigration ) . This jurisprudence remained in consequence for a sum of 61 old ages. After the Chinese were excluded, employers turned to Nipponese immigrants as their new beginning of inexpensive labour. Nipponese immigrants nevertheless, besides became the mark of bias.

In the late 1800s resistance to immigrants grew because of economic concern and from the thought that new immigrants were inferior to the established occupants ( Morrow, Immigration ) . In the 1920s the U.S. started puting bounds on the figure of immigrants that it would accept. In 1917 Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917 which required immigrants to finish a literacy trial every bit good as created the “ Asian barred zone ” . This excluded immigrants from Asiatic states that had non been antecedently restricted from coming into the United States ( Daniels ) . This was the first of many Immigration Acts to come.

The 1921 Immigration Act set quotas for people from each state that was outside the Western Hemisphere but excluded quotas for Asiatic states. This act besides made it easier for people born in the Western Hemisphere or had lived in a state of the Western Hemisphere for at least one twelvemonth to come in freely to the United States ( Daniels ) . The Immigration Act of 1924 was even more restrictive than the Immigration Act of 1921. The major alterations to this act were that the quota per centum for each state was reduced to 2 per centum and the nose count used to find the quota was moved back from 1910 to 1890. Establishing the quota on the 1890 nose count gave penchant to immigrants from northern and western Europe. This act besides contained a clause that ended all in-migration of Nipponese ( Daniels ) . Both the 1921 and 1924 Immigration Acts were passed to non merely deliberately cut down in-migration, but besides to know apart against eastern and southern Europe states.

Old ages subsequently, the Immigration Act of 1965 ended the quota system and used a different system to establish who and how many immigrants could come into the United States. This new system focused on reuniting households every bit good as focused on the makings of the single immigrant in footings of instruction and accomplishments. In 1968, an in-migration act passed by Congress eventually provided a procedure for immigrants who had entered the state lawfully on tourer, or other visas, and who had overstayed their authorization to legalise their stay and finally be eligible to go established citizens of the United States ( Daniels ) .

There were no other major in-migration Acts of the Apostless until the 1990s when Congress created a series of punishing Torahs that restricted benefits to non merely illegal immigrants but besides to immigrants who were already lasting occupants of the United States. One of the Torahs was the Immigration Reform Bill of 1996. This jurisprudence made it more expensive for legal immigrants or immigrants who have become U.S. citizens, to patronize household members who wanted to immigrate to the United States. This reform besides provided financess to duplicate the size of the United States Border Patrol and authorized $ 12 million for extra Border Patrol equipment and engineering ( Morrow, Immigration ) . A 2nd major jurisprudence put into topographic point was the federal Welfare Reform Bill of 1996. This measure put limitations on many federal benefits to legal immigrants like nutrient casts, and Supplemental Security Income and denied benefits to all illegal immigrants ( Morrow, Immigration ) .

Today, the new groups of people who are the mark of anti-immigration groups are Latin Americans, Haitians, and Arab-Americans. Peoples that are against holding immigrants coming into the state have forgotten that it was one time the Irish and the Germans who were being prejudiced against. It was one time the Irish and Germans who were looked at as being the job or cause of the economic jobs in the United States. We are all immigrants of the United States and until everyone realizes that, the argument over in-migration will go on for coevalss to come.

Plants Cited

  • Daniels, Roger. American Immigration. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Diner, Hasia. Immigration and U.S. History. 13 February 2008. 8 December 2009.
  • Morrow, Robert. Immigration. Minneapolis: Twenty-first Century Books, 2009.
  • Immigration: Blessing or Burden? Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1997.

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