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Immigration Essay

6931 words - 28 pages


Kalapodas 8 Dec. 1999 History 101 Dr. Tassinari Immigration: The New American Paul Kalapodas 8 Dec. 1999 Immigration For many, immigration to the United States during the late 19th to early 20th century would be a new beginning to a prosperous life. However there were many acts and laws past to limit the influx of immigrants, do to prejudice, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. Later on into the 20th century there would be laws repealing the older immigration laws and acts making it possible for many more foreigners to immigrate to the United States. Even with the new acts and laws that banned the older ones, no one can just walk right in and become a citizen. One must go through several examinations and tests before he or she can earn their citizenship. The Immigration Act of March 3, 1891 was the first comprehensive law for national control of immigration. It established the Bureau of Immigration under the Treasury Department to administer all immigration laws (except the Chinese Exclusion Act). This Immigration Act also added to the inadmissible classes. The people in these classes were inadmissible to enter into the United States. The people in these classes were, those suffering from a contagious disease, and persons convicted of certain crimes. The Immigration Act of March 3, 1903 and The Immigration Act of February 20, 1907 added further categories to the inadmissible list. Immigrants were screened for their political beliefs. Immigrants who were believed to be anarchists or those who advocated the overthrow of government by force or the assassination of a public officer were deported. This act was made mainly do to the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. On February 5, 1917 another immigration act was made. This Act codified all previous exclusion provisions and added the exclusion of illiterate aliens form entering into the United States. It also created a "barred zone"(Asia-Pacific triangle), whose natives were also inadmissible. This Act made Mexicans inadmissible. It insisted that all aliens pay a head tax of $8 dollars. However, because of the high demand for labor in the southwest, months later congress let Mexican workers (braceros) to stay in the U.S. under supervision of state government for six month periods. A series of statutes were made in 1917,1918, and 1920. The sought to define more clearly which aliens were admissible and which aliens were deportable. These decisions were made mostly on the aliens’ political beliefs. They formed these statutes in reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which led to a Russian economic recession and a surge of immigrants used to communistic ideals bringing along with them a red scare. The Immigration act of May 26, 1924 consolidated all of the statutes and laws in the past. It also established a quota system designed to favor the Northwestern Europeans because others were deemed less likely to support the American way of life. The act also barred...

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