Guarding the Golden Door

In many nations, immigration has long been a source of contention. Moving from one location to another and settling there permanently faced strong opposition in the 19th century. various societies and social groups reacted to this activity in various ways. Different political figures adopted positions in favor of or against immigration. This was a hot topic of discussion before the American Civil War, particularly in the United States of America and several European nations. Politicians and the public had different attitudes toward immigration. To begin with, some politicians like Thomas Jefferson viewed immigration as a necessary tool in meeting economic goals of the United States (Daniels 22). This was to build and fill the new nation during the civil war. This immigration would bring new skill and labor into the country from other states which will be highly needed during and after the civil war because other people will be lost. However, as Jefferson set this attitude, it was that if a person would migrate to America, they will not be eligible for the presidency or vice presidency (Daniels 23). Other federal offices would be open for the immigrants. This protected the foreign slave trade which was very crucial as a source of immigration. George Washington showed a different side to this immigration as a vital source of a healthier nation. People from other states and countries would bring prosperity to the nation. The Irish nation citizens were welcomed to the United States and would enjoy and participate in America rights, laws and privileges. In the 1970s, John Adams was one of the front politicians to oppose immigration. Adams had a firm attitude of not supporting federalism. Adams also did not agree with Jefferson's attitude of allowing immigrates to hold any federal office. Immigration was restricted to only free whites. Even if a person was white but not free they could not immigrate. This was to cut off immigration of servants and blacks. In addition, Benjamin Franklin saw that there was no need for immigration to take place since the people coming into the country would not adopt to the Americans language, culture, and custom. Franklin saw that the colony would not accept these terms because they certainly had their principles.

However, as time passed, they loosened their grip on this as the Irish had a wave of immigration. Later on, the public started accepting immigration. Different states passed laws that stopped taxation and immigration. These states included Massachusetts and New York. The Supreme Court supported this and struck down the law that stated that the state government would control migration. After this, immigration grew quickly majority being Irish, Germans, and Catholics. The percentage had increased to 433% between this time and 1850s (Daniels 34).

Explain major changes in immigration policy from 1882 -1965. Include reasons- political and social as well as consequences of the policies

There were many major immigration policy changes from 1822 to 1965. One of these changes were the beginning of immigration restriction between the years 1882 to 1917 (Daniels 63). As the immigration started to be accepted in most states in America, the Congress created the Chinese Exclusion act. This was to calm workers' demands and maintain white's racial purity since they saw the Chinese as economically ill mostly around the west coast. This led to the suspension of Chinese immigration for ten years even though the Chinese works challenged the government for discrimination. This was renewed in 1892 and was made permanent law in 1902. These led to a sharp decline in the Chinese population in the US. The Immigration Act of 1924 helped remove the exclusion some native groups including the Asians that saw the Chinese immigrate into the US (Daniels 43).

Correspondingly, in the 1920s another policy was brought by. This was the triumph of the old nativism. This was the Chinese Exclusion Act and the end of World War II. A certain category of people were excluded from immigration. The groups were some criminal, those with certain diseases, contract labors, those failing to meet a certain level of moral standards and illiterates. However, the Supreme Court ruled that constitution did not follow certain rules that saw the Chinese exclusion being repealed. This saw the door of migration start to open again and to allow naturalization and full-quota immigration extended to some groups and races (Daniels 44). Filipinos were allowed to immigrate with this law where they were not allowed to in early time.

Nevertheless, immigration was cut in 1914 by 60% because of the great depression (Daniels 83). This was an interpretation of a likely to become a public charge. The clause was twisted so as to keep out laborers. There was an alien registration act after the World War II that saw the barriers of immigration begin to drop. Small gestures including importation of Japanese and Germans from Peru saw that America was slowly accepting and opening the door to immigration. On that same note, there was the passage in 1965 of the immigration act which came with voting rights act and laws creating Medicare. Regardless, the most important part which was immigration was highly neglected by historians. The law removed the national quota system. In the year 1946-1950, a US policy addressed displaced persons in Europe, but many officials were hostile that led to an investigation and report by Earl G. and Hans Morgenthau. The investigation was unsuccessful that led to almost 400,000 displaced persons (Daniels 276). These people were settled in eastern U.S under the displaced Act of 1948. During the cold war, there was the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act that had nativist and liberalizing elements. Increased of European immigration was seen which resulted from switching of labor. Asian started immigrating beyond the quota system after the Asian naturalization was lifted. After these policies act, changes were made immigration later increased.

According to the author, what influence did 9/11 have on immigration policies? Does he offer implications or suggestions for the future?

From the moment the 9/11 act was committed in America, the immigration system would surely change. This led to very thorough looking at the national security through the immigration policies. To begin with, there was bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reforms which was gaining momentum in the Congress was thrown out. Though the attack was made by members affiliated with the Muslim society, there was no effort in the congress to stop immigration of this particular group of people. However, most these policies made after the 9/11 were directed towards the Muslims, Arabs, and Asians especially those from the south. After the attack, there was an anti-Muslim discrimination because of the increased hate crimes against Muslims. This came from the federal government launching the since canceled national security entry-exit registration system. This required that non-citizens Muslim men register with their nearest law center that caused deportation of many (Daniels 67). Correspondingly, there was the operation liberty shield that led to the detention of asylum seekers. The federal immigration official worked with the local police. Immediately after the 9/11 attack the Congress of America passed the uniting and strengthening America by providing required tools to intercept and obstruct terrorism act of 2001, the patriot act. This gave the federal government the mandate to survey the domestic environment. Also made it easier for the local authorizes and immigration authorities to work together to detain and deport immigrants suspected to be connected with terrorist activities.

When the government discovered that the terrorists had entered the country legally using visas, led to the end of immigration and naturalization service and replaced by the department of homeland security. This saw the immigration matters being handed over to US border patrol, the US customs and border protection and US immigration and customs enforcement. This led to the immigration policies being handled strictly by the national security. The 9/11 attack left the country in a pile insecurity and had major issues to deal with in the immigration sector. However, there is hope and recommendations if the government loosen up and allow more countries to be able to qualify for the needed requirement so as to enter the country (Daniels 53). There is also need of fairness and justice in the country's immigration sector for more humane policies to reaffirm the commitment of the US to all diverse groups and inclusive environment across the continent.

Work Cited

Daniels, Roger. Guarding the golden door: American immigration policy and immigrants since 1882. Macmillan, 2005.

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