Us Immigration Policy Essay

Words: 3703
Pages: 15

United States Immigration Policy
Our economic times, international relations, and terrorism have shaped our countries immigration policy. These issues have driven us to pass legislation opening and closing our borders in response to current events. Though not always at the forefront of concern, it has been a constant struggle that has affected the dynamics of our country. Arizona’s recent passing of tough immigration laws aimed at identifying and deporting illegal immigrants has again put immigration at the forefront of American politics. Additionally, it has raised the question of constitutionality and rekindled the flame of State v. Federal power. In order to trace the history of our countries immigration policies you must first
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Our willingness to keep our borders open to both countries would soon come to an end. The most severe blow came from the Immigration Act of 1917. Previous acts and agreements had singled out the Chinese but the Immigration Act of 1917 greatly increased the number of individuals banned from entering the country. This list included; “idiots,” “feeble-minded persons,” “epileptics,” “insane persons,” alcoholics, “professional beggars,” all persons “mentally or physically defective,” polygamists, and anarchists. Furthermore, it barred all immigrants over the age of sixteen who were illiterate. (Immigration Act of 1917, 2009). Asia in particular was singled out in an area of the act known as “Asiatic Barred Zone”. This zone consisted of most of Eastern Asia and the Pacific Islands except for the Philippines, who the United States had a treaty with, and banned immigration from the area. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed to bill but it was passed overwhelmingly by Congress. Though Asians had been singled out for much of the 1900’s in immigration acts, the United States was beginning to stifle the number of immigrants as a whole and what better way to do that then place a cap. With the number of immigrants coming to the United States still on the rise the government took another drastic measure to curtail this. The Immigration Act of 1924, also known as the National Origins Quota of 1924, placed a cap on the number of immigrants that could