American Immigration PolicyImmigration has held a major role in shaping ourcountry. Immigrants have provided many things suchas customs, manufacturing, inventions, andentertainment. Many people today don’t realize howgreatly we have been affected by immigration. Asurvey was given to ten people. The survey containeda list of people who were all immigrants. When askedhow many actually were, only one person got thequestion right. Old Immigration occurred between 1840-1890.Immigrants during this time period came fromcountries such as Ireland, Germany, and Scandinaviancountries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland).
Next came the period of New Immigration. Thesenewcomers came from Italy, Russia, Poland, Lithuania,Greece, Austria, etc., most of whom were peasantswho couldn’t speak English. The people who migratedduring the period of Old Immigration disliked thesealiens because it meant lower wages for themselvesand the new immigrants had greater advantagesincluding poor and political machines. These peoplealso were not willing to adapt to American ways oflife, created their own little towns that resemble theirhomeland.
They were treated as outcasts. NewImmigration ended with World War I when theimmigrant boats were being sunk. Immigration is stillcontinuing today. Current Immigration includespeople from Latin America, the Philippines, and Asia. Laws regarding immigration are constantly changingto fit the needs of society. In 1854, the Know-NothingParty declared the need for strict limits onImmigration. Members of this party felt it wasnecessary that immigrants must be residents of theUnited States for 21 years before being grantedcitizenship.
The campaign ended in 1860 during thetime of the Civil War due to the demand ofimmigrants needed to enlist in the Union Army. Tenyears later, the Naturalization Act is passed. This statesthat only white persons and persons of Africandescent, are able to become citizens. This excludesall Asians. This trend continues for several decades. In1921, Congress decides to pass immigrationrestrictions, first establishing a quota of 350,000immigrants. The quota is increased as times change. In1995, it was passed that the total number of legalimmigrants allowed to enter the United States belimited to 650, 000 a year.
Immigrants were givenvisas, which allowed them to come to this country.Visas were distributed for family andemployment-based immigrants, and persons fromadversely affected countries. Strict regulations havealso been made due to the large amount of peopleentering the country illegally. The nation is on the right track. They have createdlaws stating limitations of the privileges ofimmigrants, including welfare and those who testpositive for HIV/AIDS. There is also a growing problemwith illegal immigration which needs to be tended to.More Border Patrol guards could be hired along theMexican border, however, this does cost a lot ofmoney.
Funding could come out of taxes to help putan end to illegal aliens. Cutting down welfare, foodstamps, and Medicare to immigrants even furtherwould also be beneficial.Immigration is a key part to our nations history. Thecontinuing situation could drastically affect ourcountry’s future.