Guarding the Golden Door Essay

Words: 1577
Pages: 7

American immigration history is the story of bonded, free, and enslaved migrant labor. Immigration to a settler society advances resource extraction and economic development. Extracting agricultural products and natural resources from land can
Require forced labor. Over the last 30 years the United States has been turning once again into a nation of immigrants. Roger Daniels is especially sensitive to the role of race and ethnicity in shaping American immigration policy. Daniel provides an expert reexamination of American immigration policy and immigrant history. Daniels book builds upon his lifetime of work in American immigration and Asian American history. He notes that Americans have a dualistic attitude. On one part reveling in the
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The un-assimilated presence of these groups, so the argument runs, will corrupt American values; (2) Immigrant groups, because of innate inferiority or prior cultural disposition, are not capable of self-government and are therefore a danger to our political institutions;(3) An influx of immigrants will result in loss of jobs for native Americans, and will bring about a lower standard of living. Another of Daniels strength is the way this work integrates the Asian American critique, including important work by several Asian American historians such as Mae Ngai, in its overall account of U.S. immigration history. Daniels is not shy about acknowledging the racism in American law and permeating administrative regulation of the kinds of bodies “whom we shall welcome” in different periods (pp. 122–23).
Although focusing on the period after 1882, he acknowledges the earlier troubled history regarding the suppression of the African slave trade. He also addresses the
Franklin D. Roosevelt administration’s response to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi
Germany and occupied Europe’s death camps during World War II. U.S. immigration policy underwent a change after World War II. Prior to World War II, America had a tradition of isolationism. After World War II America became a world power. Ideas of Nordic superiority were rejected (Daniels, 116). After having