U.S. Immigration Policy

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According to Michael C. Lemay (The Perennial Struggle, 2nd ed., Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005, pp. 343-54), there were very few restrictions on immigration to the United States between 1820 and 1880. Partisan fighting between Federalists and Republicans over immigration was intense but disappeared along with the collapse of the Federalist party in 1815. (Federalist opposition to the War of 1812 was mainly responsible for their demise).

After 1880, various restrictions were imposed on immigration from Asia and, after World War I, from Europe. There were few restrictions, however, on immigration to the United States from the Western Hemisphere. The infamous National Origins Quota Act of 1924 imposed a total ban on Japanese immigration and a 150,000 quota for Europe, but it imposed no quota whatsover on people from this hemisphere.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 replaced the country quotas with hemispheric quotas: a limit of 20,000 for those resident outside of the Western Hemisphere and 120,000 for those in this hemisphere. This was the first real effort by the U.S. government to restrict interhemispheric immigration, which was nevertheless more generous than restrictions on Europeans and Asians.

For most of the history of the United States, people from Latin America were able to go back and forth across our southern border will few if any impediments and citizenship was easy to acquire. People in border states lived together more or less peacefully and the cultures of Mexico and the United States were each enriched by their interaction with each other. Peaceful and prosperous coexistence among Anglos, Latinos, and Indians was a cherished part of our nation's history and fabric in the southwest. It breaks my heart to see vicious xenophobia now animating so many Americans and their political leaders.

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BcDct
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Interesting historical perspective.

But don't forget Americans study history as approved by the Texas School Board. And the typical "ugly American" has just as little use for history as he has for foreign languages.

Poor Richard

Poor Richard's Almanack 2010

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Poor Richard
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Quote Poor Richard:

Interesting historical perspective.

But don't forget Americans study history as approved by the Texas School Board. And the typical "ugly American" has just as little use for history as he has for foreign languages.

Sadly, I agree with you entirely, Richard.

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BcDct
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A little known fact

Quote Prof. Ron Hayduk, CUNY:Voting is for citizens only, right? Not exactly. It is not widely known that immigrants, or noncitizens, currently vote in local elections in over a half dozen cities and towns in the U.S.; nor that campaigns to expand the franchise to noncitizens have been launched in at least a dozen other jurisdictions from coast to coast over the past decade. These practices have their roots in another little-known fact: for most of the country’s history — from the founding until the 1920s — noncitizens voted in forty states and federal territories in local, state, and even federal elections, and also held public office such as alderman, coroner, and school board member.

http://www.ronhayduk.com/publications/democracyforall.htm

http://www.immigrantvoting.org/Articles/Haydukessay.pdf

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If they are established residents involved in their communities, what is the problem with extending citizenship easily. We need a more functional and less cultic sense of citizenship so those who actually live here can be involved in the decisions that affect them directly.

The 1920's were reactionary times where fear of "cultural pollution" from Southern Europe ran amok. All those "black' Italians like Louie Prima. Maybe they were onto something.

But seriously, the immigration issue is mostly about the loss of White Christian America to those of darker skin and questionable religions. I exempt the protest in the construction trade and other places where union jobs are being done by low-priced undocumented workers. That is an illegal employer issue. Beyond that, end the War on Drugs and get the ag labor issues worked out. I loved the old open border I knew as a kid in San Diego.

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Quote DRC:

But seriously, the immigration issue is mostly about the loss of White Christian America to those of darker skin and questionable religions.

But seriously, your full of shit.
I don't know of anybody that claims we should eliminate legal immigration or even curtail it. Most even claiming we should expand it. which of course makes your statement so crappy.
I guess being a closet racist yourself you look though racist lens at every subject.

This should enrage every legal citizen.
Mexico opens California office to provide ID for illegals

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May. 7, 2010 3:23 pm

You know no history it seems.

What we call "legal immigration" is a process that needs considerable reform so it can work in a decent time frame. We are making it into joining a church instead of being a civil resident declaring a desire to stick around.

If the reaction to "illegal immigration" were not so off-target and full of racist rhetoric, and were it focussed on undercutting middle-class and union jobs by illegal employers, I would think it was about economics first. Were it not connected to these old racists and their batcrap and to the unelected gov looking to make her bones, I might think it was based in reality.

But then I hear the sheriffs from both Tucson and Nogales speaking out against the law because it is not needed and makes their work far more difficult. Kind of removes the last piece of rational justification.

And, my nephew is married to a wonderful Mexican-American from a five generation Tucson Mexican family. I am fairly well acquainted with the larger frame of racial interaction and community as well as with the racism that has also been part of the Southwest due to White Supremist dogmas. For example, not speaking English with an accent, or thinking that American history is not the White story unless it has been seriously reformed recently. How parochial does it have to get?

Reboute, your attitude and insults are getting very old. Your accusations are ugly and way too personal, and way off base as well. As a self-affirmed European American, I am not White. My opposition to White is to the Lie and not to honest ethnic and parochial identity from Europe. It is that attitude that is present in the American Right as it lives out the Southern version of the Manifest Destiny/American Century Myth currently crashing and burning. This AZ nuttiness is part of that pathology. It has no practical value other than to arouse racist fears. It is not about the economics, and it is not about the violence.

I will not tolerate more of this from you. Keep to the arguments and stay away from the personal or else. Notice, when I address personal behavior, it is about the behavior and when I suggest maturity instead of acting out, there is a way to speak about what that means instead of being nasty. You are becoming a distraction rather than a contributor to the conversation.

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Quote DRC:

[Reboute,] You are becoming a distraction rather than a contributor to the conversation.

I drew that conclusion earlier, I think. But you humanitarians have to be longsuffering, I guess.

Reboute, who are you? I guess your blank profile says something about you...

Why don't you fade from here, yo?

Poor Richard

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Poor Richard
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Quote DRC:

You know no history it seems. >

That must be it.

Reboute, your attitude and insults are getting very old. Your accusations are ugly and way too personal, and way off base as well.

Quit calling everyone a racist and you will not have to worry about my attitude or insults. Since I Hate Racist, You bring out the best in me.

This AZ nuttiness is part of that pathology. It has no practical value other than to arouse racist fears. It is not about the economics, and it is not about the violence.

You clearly don't have a clue what it's about, Or I bet you do, so you claim "it must be Racist" as the quickest was to win the Anti AZ law discussion. If you challenge that ludicrous accretion... well that because you’re a racist, bad attitude, stupid and insulting to rational, intellectual discussion. I have heard it all before. I also enjoy the illegal immigration is the result of US imperialism. It’s always the US’s fault, from the Blame the US first crowd.

I will not tolerate more of this from you. Keep to the arguments and stay away from the personal or else. Notice, when I address personal behavior, it is about the behavior and when I suggest maturity instead of acting out, there is a way to speak about what that means instead of being nasty. You are becoming a distraction rather than a contributor to the conversation.

Spoken like a man with a big stick, You get to call all the Pro AZ immigration law racist (ME), and you don’t get to be called out a race baiter. So in order to have a mature intellectual discussion only one side or in this case one person (you) gets the right to throw the Race card. Sounds like a student of Jesse Jackson.

Why don’t you start by maturely and intellectually discuss the REAL reasons for the AZ immigration law? Rampant crime Rapes, Murders, drugs, human trafficking, thief by people not supposed to be in the country, Budget crushing results Schools, Prisons, Human Services of people that are not suppose to be in the country, Frustration toward a federal government that treats lawlessness as a political voting bloc from people that are not suppose to be in the country. Why address these issue when proclaim people racist is so easy and intellectually lazy.

I can definitely see Buffulo1 point now.

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Roboute
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May. 7, 2010 3:23 pm
You clearly don't have a clue what it's about, Or I bet you do, so you claim "it must be Racist" as the quickest was to win the Anti AZ law discussion. If you challenge that ludicrous accretion... well that because you’re a racist, bad attitude, stupid and insulting to rational, intellectual discussion. I have heard it all before. I also enjoy the illegal immigration is the result of US imperialism. It’s always the US’s fault, from the Blame the US first crowd.

Well, it is the U.S.'s fault. It's primarily due to employers wanting cheap labor, the U.S. and state governments choosing to not crack down on those employers who choose to break the law, and U.S. citizens who just want cheap stuff. Of course there is the attraction of the U.S. being far better than the hell hole they come from that gives people reason to cross illegally, but overall it's due to better economic opportunities here.

At the root of it all, if Americans were willing to pay a price for things that afford Americans a working wage, then the jobs would dry up for illegals as the "cheap labor" argument would disappear.

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Quote Poor Richard:Why don't you fade from here, yo>

Why dont you, Yo..
I listen to Thom, he invited me here with promises of Stimulating discussions. There's been a few here and there. I never thought I met Jesse Jackson here, but that is the glory of Global networking.

Would it make you happy if I made my profile?

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Poor people need jobs. If they can't find them at home, they will find them someplace else. No human being will sit back and watch his family perish without doing something about it.

If we resist sending jobs abroad (outsourcing), we will encourage immigration for jobs here (legal or otherwise). I don't think we can practically insulate ourselves from global economic and demographic pressures.

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If we resist sending jobs abroad (outsourcing), we will encourage immigration for jobs here (legal or otherwise). I don't think we can practically insulate ourselves from global economic and demographic pressures.

Not necessarily. One of the allurements is that pay here is better than back home but Americans consider the pay too low for the effort, or so the argument goes. If employers were to pay qualified Americans a fair wage for their labor and Americans weren't so cheap then the dynamics may change enough to limit the "need" for foreign labor. That cheap labor, to decrease cost to increase profit, is the point behind U.S. labor policy is seen in the corruption of the H1B visa program. Foreign workers are supposed to be brought in only when qualified Americans aren't available, but generally they are brought in to increase pressure to lower wages overall.
SSRN: H-1B Visas, Offshoring, and the Wages of US Information Technology Workers
is just one of many studies that prove that U.S. labor policy promotes profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

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jeffbiss
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Quote BcDct:

If we resist sending jobs abroad (outsourcing), we will encourage immigration for jobs here (legal or otherwise). I don't think we can practically insulate ourselves from global economic and demographic pressures.

No, but what we can do is insist that U.S. policy doesn't subsidize the outsourcing. As is, we reward firms for sending their production overseas. At the very least, we ignore that "free trade" with the developing world means, in practice, huge direct and indirect subsidies for production in those locations. You can't blame China and others for competing with us any way they can - undervalued currency, the direct tax and infrastructure and energy subsidies - and you really can't complain about them taking the same lax environmental stance that was common in this country until the 20th century. But we should insist that products sent here price in those subsidies/externalities - through tariffs if necessary, or with taxes.

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Jasper
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Quote BcDct:

Poor people need jobs. If they can't find them at home, they will find them someplace else. No human being will sit back and watch his family perish without doing something about it.

If we resist sending jobs abroad (outsourcing), we will encourage immigration for jobs here (legal or otherwise). I don't think we can practically insulate ourselves from global economic and demographic pressures.

Maybe the problem is we didn't send enough jobs to Mexico. About 6 million more jobs to Mexico should handle the immigration problem for awhile. Maybe dumping our subsidized corn onto Mexico was a bad idea. Drove their farmers from their fields into the cities...unemployed.

The way to handle immigration here is to fine or jail employers who knowingly hire illegals.

The best way to handle the problem in Mexico would probably entail a revolution in Mexico..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Ceasing destructive trade policies which reward US and transnational corporations at the expense of punishing Latin America and making it impossible for a person to support a family would be a good start.

I would imagine that ceasing the US complicity in regime changes, devastating economies, mass murder, all to enable more profit for corporations would go far as well.

If the US wants to stem the tide of undocumented workers from crossing its borders, it should stop creating them.

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Poo tee weet
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May. 7, 2010 4:17 pm

Yes, punish the illegal employers. Make it a federal crime to hire any undocumented workers (include the Irish, Canadian, British, Chineese etc) When agents raid workplaces round up the owner and management and put them into detention. Get serious, put them out of business.....end the practice of handing down paltry administrative fines........shut these businesses down. Oh big meat/poultry/agricultural corps won't like that a bit and the loud outcry of "how could we know who's legal?" will out them as well as our "representitives" that will seek to soften the blow to their patrones.

Free Trade here in Mexico means that I can buy locally grown and organic vegetables.......if I cross into the USA to purchase them. The supermarkets are stocked with imported Grade B produce imported from the USA

looneydoone
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Jun. 1, 2010 8:27 am
Quote polycarp2:

The best way to handle the problem in Mexico would probably entail a revolution in Mexico..

I don't disagree; if Mexico was the only source of economic refugees, things would be much simpler.

Mexico is not the only source of immigrants, however. There are maybe 6 billion poor people who want to share in the riches of northern American and western Europe. World demographics do not favor the affluent.

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BcDct
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May. 28, 2010 2:27 pm

Wait a minute...no mention of the official quota set in 1924 regarding Africans? I guess Africans are still considered "less than human" to white liberals, conservatives, tree huggers and capitalists alike.

The U.S. Government's preferential ordering of immigrants according to official quotas set in 1924 was CLOSED.

You and everyone else in this racist post are exposed. I'm sure I'll receive many replies from whites and their programmed non-white lemmings to help salvage "masa's" superior and moral rationale...

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