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499 lyons07immigration


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  • 1. Exclusion and the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Policy Jonathan T. Lyons Political Science Capstone Fall 2007
  • 2. Overview• Policy History from 1790-Present• How stereotypes and xenophobia influenced policy development• Current Status of Immigration
  • 3. First Immigration Legislation• Act of March 26th, 1790 – Set residency requirement for citizenship at 2 years• Act of January 29th, 1795 – Requirement amended to 5 years• Federalists vs. Jeffersonians
  • 4. Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)• Naturalization Act• Alien and Alien Enemy Acts• Sedition Act- Infringement on Free Speech John Adams
  • 5. Open-Door Era (1790-1882)• Federalist acts expired with Thomas Jefferson Presidency• After the founding of the U.S. immigration is encouraged• 1819- “An act regulating passenger ships and vessels” – Began recording the number of immigrants entering the United States Thomas Jefferson
  • 6. Open-Door Era• 1821-1830: 143,439 immigrants arrive• President John Tyler encourages immigration in his message to the 22nd Congress in 1841• “We hold out the to the people of other countries an invitation to come and settle among us”
  • 7. Opposition to Early Immigration• The Irish Potato Famine (1845-1851) and crop failures in Germany resulted in heavy Irish/German immigration• Irish immigrants are almost exclusively Catholic, German immigrants have large Catholic segment• Nativist sentiments emerged in northern cities such as Boston and New York
  • 8. The Gold Rush: Immigration Explosion• 1848-James W. Marshall discovers gold in the American River outside Sacramento• Gold discovery inspires an explosion in immigration, especially from China• 1841-1850: 1,713,251 immigrants arrive• 1850-United States census records the “nativity” of citizens
  • 9. Know-Nothing Movement (American Party)• Began as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner – Members had to be native- born white Protestants – Their oath: “to resist the insidious policy of the Church of Rome…by placing in all offices native-born Protestant citizens” Know-Nothing Party Flag
  • 10. Open-Door Era• 1851-1870: 4,913,039 immigrants arrive• 1862-Homestead Act• 1863-Central Pacific and Union Pacific hire Chinese and Irish laborers respectively to construct first transcontinental railroad – Completed at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10th, 1869
  • 11. Chinese Exclusion Act• Signed May 6th, 1882• Reaction to rapid expansion of Chinese immigration• First act directed at a nationality• Beginning of “Door-Ajar” Era
  • 12. Door-Ajar Era• January 1st, 1892-Ellis Island opens• May 1892-Geary Act – Extends exclusion of Chinese 10 additional years – Required all Chinese to obtain a certificate of residence within one year – Excluded Chinese from being witnesses
  • 13. Door-Ajar Era• 1904-Chinese Exclusion Act extended indefinitely• Immigration Act of February 20th, 1907• Created the Dillingham Commission – Distinguished between “old” and “new” immigrants – Conclusions led to the establishment of Quota Acts• Immigration Act of 1917-Asiatic Barred Zone
  • 14. Asiatic Barred Zone
  • 15. Quota System• Began with Emergency Quota Act of 1921• Immigrants could only constitute 3% of their country’s existing population in the U.S. according to 1910 census data• 357,000 per year• President Calvin Coolidge: “America is for Americans” Calvin Coolidge
  • 16. Quota System• Albert Johnson-chairman of House of Representatives C.I.N.• Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 – Changed quota to 2% of resident nationalities – Reduced annual total immigration to 150,000 – Shifted back to 1890 census as benchmark
  • 17. National Origins System• Created in the Johnson-Reed Act but delayed until 1929• Eugenics-driven policy• “Encouraged” immigration of “old” Northwestern Europeans and discouraged “new” immigration from Southeastern Europe
  • 18. Immigration During Quota System• National Origins made no specifications against immigrants from Western Hemisphere• Coolidge saw limits on this type of immigration as counterproductive• Mexicans welcomed during labor shortage of World War I, then deported during Great Depression
  • 19. Bracero Program• 1942-Agreement between Mexico and U.S. – Contracted over 4.5 million Mexican nationals for work on U.S. farms – “Mojados” undocumented Mexican laborers
  • 20. Bracero Program• Postwar economy was strong, due in part to Bracero labor• Mexican laborers filled void left by exclusion of Asian immigrants and National Origin Systems• 1954- “Operation Wetback” enacted to stem the tide of undocumented laborers
  • 21. Civil Rights Legislation• December 31, 1964- Bracero Program ends• Immigration Act of 1965 – Ended the quota system – First regulation of Western Hemisphere immigration – Set limit of 20,000 visas per year on nations of Eastern Hemisphere Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 22. Shift in Ethnicity• Act of 1965 stimulated Asian immigration• Western Europe was economically prosperous, Eastern Europe under Soviet influence• Increase in refugees from Latin American and Asian countries during wartime
  • 23. Illegal Immigration• 1980-number of legal immigrants entering annually reaches 500,000• 1986-Immigration Reform and Control Act – Placed sanctions on employers who hired illegal immigrants – Offered amnesty, 2 million undocumented immigrants gained eventual citizenship
  • 24. Proposition 187• Passed by California in 1994• Denied public benefits to illegal aliens• Immediately blocked and then overturned by Supreme Court in 1998 Gray Davis
  • 25. Post 9/11 Immigration Policy• March 1, 2003-INS transitions into U.S.C.I.S.• Department of Homeland Security• Creation of Immigration Customs and Enforcement
  • 26. Immigration and Customs Enforcement• J.W. Barnes, Senior Special Agent• Current illegal population grossly underestimated• Border towns controlled, deserts are a revolving door• Only illegal immigrants deported easily are those with a criminal record
  • 27. Proposed Legislation• Amnesty• Real ID• Guest-Worker Program• Project 28• June 28th, 2007-Senate votes to block massive reform of U.S. immigration policy
  • 28. 2008 Presidential Candidates
  • 29. Candidates Statements and Recent Voting• Clinton and Obama-both gave speeches using the phrase “out of the shadows”• In favor of C.I.R.A. of 2006• Huckabee-voting record favors helping illegal aliens within U.S.• Romney-empowered MA police to arrest and deport illegal aliens
  • 30. Conclusions• Stereotypes and anti-foreign sentiments influenced policy development• Current policy in need of overhaul• How will U.S. immigration policy further develop?
  • 31. Further Reading• Beasley, Vanessa B., ed. 2006. Who Belongs in America? Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press• Daniels, Roger. 2004. Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882. New York, NY: Hill and Wang Publishing• Hutchinson, E.P. 1981. Legislative History of American Immigration Policy 1798-1965. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press• King, Desmond. 2000. Making Americans: Immigration, Race, and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press