Immigration


American Immigration Policy
Immigration has held a major role in shaping our
country. Immigrants have provided many things such
as customs, manufacturing, inventions, and
entertainment. Many people today don't realize how
greatly we have been affected by immigration. A
survey was given to ten people. The survey contained
a list of people who were all immigrants. When asked
how many actually were, only one person got the
question right.
Old Immigration occurred between 1840-1890.
Immigrants during this time period came from
countries such as Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavian
countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland).
Next came the period of New Immigration. These
newcomers came from Italy, Russia, Poland, Lithuania,
Greece, Austria, etc., most of whom were peasants
who couldn't speak English. The people who migrated
during the period of Old Immigration disliked these
aliens because it meant lower wages for themselves
and the new immigrants had greater advantages
including poor and political machines. These people
also were not willing to adapt to American ways of
life, created their own little towns that resemble their
homeland. They were treated as outcasts. New
Immigration ended with World War I when the
immigrant boats were being sunk. Immigration is still
continuing today. Current Immigration includes
people from Latin America, the Philippines, and Asia.
Laws regarding immigration are constantly changing
to fit the needs of society. In 1854, the Know-Nothing
Party declared the need for strict limits on
Immigration. Members of this party felt it was
necessary that immigrants must be residents of the
United States for 21 years before being granted
citizenship. The campaign ended in 1860 during the
time of the Civil War due to the demand of
immigrants needed to enlist in the Union Army. Ten
years later, the Naturalization Act is passed. This states
that only white persons and persons of African
descent, are able to become citizens. This excludes
all Asians. This trend continues for several decades. In
1921, Congress decides to pass immigration
restrictions, first establishing a quota of 350,000
immigrants. The quota is increased as times change. In
1995, it was passed that the total number of legal
immigrants allowed to enter the United States be
limited to 650, 000 a year. Immigrants were given
visas, which allowed them to come to this country.
Visas were distributed for family and
employment-based immigrants, and persons from
adversely affected countries. Strict regulations have
also been made due to the large amount of people
entering the country illegally.
The nation is on the right track. They have created
laws stating limitations of the privileges of
immigrants, including welfare and those who test
positive for HIV/AIDS. There is also a growing problem
with illegal immigration which needs to be tended to.
More Border Patrol guards could be hired along the
Mexican border, however, this does cost a lot of
money. Funding could come out of taxes to help put
an end to illegal aliens. Cutting down welfare, food
stamps, and Medicare to immigrants even further
would also be beneficial.
Immigration is a key part to our nations history. The
continuing situation could drastically affect our
country's future.