Early legislation tended to impose limits that favored Europeans, but a sweeping law opened doors to immigrants from other parts of the world.
The History of Immigration Policies in the U. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free; The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door The United States has long been a destination of freedom and opportunity for millions of men and women around the world.
Immigration is an essential element of the development of this nation, economically and socially. The United States has relied on the constant flow of newcomers to diversify society and boost the economy. Unfortunately in times of unrest abroad and internal economic struggles, anti-immigrant sentiments rise.
It is easy to blame the foreigner when we fail, instead of studying policy decisions that have led us to fail. History tells us that from the beginning immigration is beneficial to the country when we have a system that allows them to migrate freely and legally become a citizen of the United States.
NETWORK believes learning and teaching others about the history of both welcoming and despising immigrants will help us to debate current policy more effectively based on fact rather than fear. It will also help us avoid mistakes of the past. The Beginning The first immigrants to come to the United States arrived voluntarily from Europe during the Colonial period.
Many were merchants looking to trade and barter or settlers in search of religious toleration. When they reached North America, also known as the New World, they encountered groups of indigenous people who welcomed them.
Other groups of immigrants arrived involuntarily. English convicts were sent over as they were not wanted in their own country and, beginning inAfrican slaves were forcefully transported over as part of the slave trade.
Slaves, without rights, were commonly wanted for cheap labor but convicts were a nuisance to the Colonies. The act of dumping English convicts led to the first passage of immigration enforcement legislation.
The Colonies fought against the English Parliamentary Law that allowed criminals to be sent over and passed their own laws against that practice.
Ironically these laws were passed by recent descendants of criminals that had been sent over previously. At the time the population was a combination of Europeans of all different nations and languages, Native Americans and African slaves. However, neither Native Americans the original founders nor African Slaves were even considered citizens.
It was a question of whether the United States was a country of one specific group; White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant men and women or one that welcomed newcomers from different countries, different religions and who spoke different languages.
Difference of opinion on this point created the first political party, the Federalists. They feared them coming to the United States and causing a political disturbance. Their fear convinced Congress to pass a stricter Naturalization law in Immigrants were required to be a resident for 2 to 5 years to be considered a citizen.History of U.S.
Immigration Laws. History of U.S. Immigration Policies. Naturalization Act of Since , the major source of immigration to the United States has shifted from Europe to Latin America and Asia, reversing the trend since the founding of the nation. According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS.
The Immigration Act of was the most severe: it limited the overall number of immigrants and established quotas based on nationality.
Among other things, the act sharply reduced immigrants.
Immigration Timeline. Immigration Timeline. Be a part of history - Register now! Login. 0. The War of between the United States and Britain slowed immigration even further. severely restricting immigration from China. Since earlier laws made it difficult for those Chinese immigrants who were already here to bring over their wives. New public and private laws are published in each edition of the United States Statutes at Large. Find bills and new legislation enacted by the current Congress before they are assigned a public law number. The Immigration Act of was the most severe: it limited the overall number of immigrants and established quotas based on nationality. Among other things, the act sharply reduced immigrants.
Americans encouraged relatively free and open immigration during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and rarely questioned that policy until the late s. After certain states passed immigration laws following the Civil War, the Supreme Court in declared regulation of immigration a federal.
The law required immigrants to live in the United States for two years and their respective state of residence for one year prior to applying for citizenship. Congress enacted the first significant federal legislation relating specifically to immigration.
The United States began regulating immigration soon after it won independence from Great Britain, and the laws since enacted have reflected the politics and migrant flows of the times. We looked at key immigration laws from to The History of Immigration Policies in the U.S.
Give me your tired, your poor, Most did not return and the United States did not enforce any border laws. The lack of structure caused a culture to develop along the border.
The history of immigration policy demonstrates a clear pattern of policy decisions catered towards the need of the.