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A Brief History of Immigration in the United States

From Marko, who is a German immigrant:

For most of this country’s history, our immigration policy has been “Can you hop off the boat under your own power?”  It’s only when the folks in charge decided that the wrongly-hued or wrongly-believing people were getting too many, that the gangway was pulled up, and the cries of “The boat is full!” started sounding.  It seems to be a tradition that every group of immigrants, once settled, spent a lot of time and effort keeping the next group of immigrants from contaminating the American Stew.  The Irish faced their share of discrimination, for example (“No Dogs Or Irish!”), and when folks were mostly satisfied that the Micks weren’t going to turn our WASPy paradise into an outpost of rampant potato-munching and whiskey-swilling Popery, the Irish joined forces with the rest to keep the swarthy wops out.  When the Italians were in, everyone turned against the Chinese and Japanese, and so on.

Read the whole thing.  I’ve heard more immigration horror stories from various people that defy belief.  While I am in favor of cracking down on illegal immigration, I think that has to be done in conjunction with liberalizing immigration laws so that people who have skills we need can come here legally and work.  Race or national origin should not be a factor.

5 Responses to “A Brief History of Immigration in the United States”

  1. Monty says:

    When the baby boomers start retiring, we are gonna need all the immigrants we can get. (Assuming the economic realities allow them to retire)

  2. Arnie says:

    Being a fifth generation immigrant on my dad’s side (native American Indian on my mom’s), I sympathize with the desire of the émigré. However, the Constitution is clear: The blessings of our nation’s liberty are for “ourselves and our posterity,” not for foreign citizens unless LAWFULLY received within our borders. I love legal immigrants who naturalize by taking an oath to defend our Constitution as I did in the military. I welcome them with open arms. But illegal immigrants receiving amnesty with no loyalty to our heritage of liberty? No way!

  3. R. Franz says:

    Excellent post.

    “Both of the land borders of the US were basically completely open until 1929, and there was essentially no problem with illegal immigration in this country until 1965 saw the passage of The Immigration and Naturalization Act, which set quotas for immigration arbitrarily, drastically undercutting the demand for migrant, non permanent, workers, while at the same time tremendously changing the ethnic and political makeup of the United States by DOUBLING the annual immigration rate. Many older folks who lived in the southwest, near the border, remembered working with Mexicans who would actually drive home to Mexico at night, and to work in the US, something that became practically unheard of as government regulatory chokehold set in on free trade and market demand.”

    Any solution to illegal immigration that doesnt address the causes of problem and what creates its demand, is no solution at all.

  4. nathan says:

    Current immigration policy is ridiculous.

    My wife and have recently had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with and Indian couple who were here working on graduate degrees, him in engineering and her in microbiology. They said that it will be a long hard process to actually become citizens once their student visas run out and if they can’t make it happen, they’ll have to go back to India.

    How wrong is it that educated professionals have a long hard road to get here, yet we make no effort to crack down on the illiterate Mexicans streaming over the border illegally…

  5. thebastidge says:

    “Race or national origin should not be a factor.”

    But they are now. We discriminate against industrialized, 1st world, educated white people in favour of family reunification, and economic/political refugees.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t be a political refuge, I just don’t think we should keep out people with immediate resources to add other than basic labour. I am also ambivalent on the family reunifiication issue. Seems to me that is causes more problems than it solves, emphasizing family reunification. IT gets stretched all out of immediate family into a catch-all for anybody who claims acquaintence.

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