Decriminalization Of Immigration

Words: 1087
Pages: 5

Since the Colonial Era, many European immigrants have voluntarily entered the United States. Although, during Adams’ presidency, the Alien and Sedition Acts severely limited the freedoms of immigrants and gave the president the power of deportation, the elimination of the act under Jefferson paved the way for future waves of immigration: European immigration in the mid-nineteenth century, Mexican immigration as a result of the Mexican-American War, and Chinese immigration in the late-nineteenth century. Many immigrants competed with previous settlers for job opportunities which led to the build up of anti-immigrant sentiment and initiated extreme backlash from US citizens in the forms of verbal and physical abuse. Strong, negative, public sentiment …show more content…
Although the Trump administration has deemed the travel ban necessary for our foreign policy and national security, many opponents of Trump argue that the ban is tainted, unconstitutionally, with discrimination aimed, particularly, against Muslims. This racial aspect of the travel ban is very consistent with that of former president, Chester A. Arthur’s, Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first act that was issued, specifically, to prevent the immigration of a certain ethnic group to the United States. The presence of Chinese immigrants after the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad fueled the anti-immigrant sentiment of the white workers competing for limited job availabilities. Although the Chinese Exclusion Act did not explicitly state that the United States barred any individual of Chinese heritage to enter into the country, part of the act required immigrants to prove that they were non-laborers, which proved very difficult to discern, and significantly benefited the previous white settlers, whom did not have to compete with immigrants that were paid the minimum wage. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was later passed by Eisenhower, which appeared as if it lifted the ban on Chinese immigration and provided those immigrants with new opportunities. However, it only furthered the discriminatory ideals within the Chinese Exclusion Act. Even though the law repealed laws that prevented Asians to become an American citizen and allotted a minimum quota of one hundred visas to each Asian nation, it created new quotas based on race and religion instead of nationality, while establishing preferences for skilled workers and relatives of U.S. citizens and tightening security standards and procedures. Trump’s immigration policies are similar to that of