Immigration Facts Essay, Research Paper
1. Some of the immigrants who came to the US between the Civil War and WWI include the Irish, Germans, Italians, Polish, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. Groups such as the American Protective Association, the Immigration Restriction League, and the notorious Ku Klux Klan discriminated against these groups. Literacy tests were proposed by the Immigration Restriction League to test new immigrants on literacy of any language. This made it hard for immigrants who were poor and had little education to come to the US. When anti-immigrant group proposed a bill to make literacy test mandatory President Wilson vetoed the bill. But in 1917 Americans feared the War in Europe and Congress was able to have enough votes to override the veto of President Wilson.
2. Chinese were kept from immigrating when the West convinced Congress to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Then in 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt convince the Japanese Government to stop their people from emigrating. This came to be known as the Gentleman s Agreement.
3. Jane Addams was a reformer who spoke for immigrant rights. She studied abroad in Europe. When visiting Toynbee Hall in London she passed by the poorest section of the city. She saw that a group of Oxford and Cambridge graduates were helping the people of the neighborhood. Seeing this she was inspired to do something similar in the US. She would set up settlement houses where educated young men and women would help the citizens of the neighborhood. The citizens could learn important lesson from the young men and women and vice versa.
4. The literacy test restricted immigration to the US. The National Origins Act of 1924 reduced quotas to only 150,000 of immigrants per year. The percentage of immigrants from each country was based on the percentage of the nation s origin. However Canadians and Latin Americans were not restricted by this Act.
5. The Immigration Act of 1965 abolished the quota system. This act allowed 120,000 people to emigrate from Western Hemisphere lands each year. Another 170,000 could be from any other nation. Families of people already in the Country, skilled workers, and refugees had priority over other potential immigrants.
6. Immigrants had to deal with prejudice from oldcomers. Immigrants were not allowed in some Colleges. They could not have certain jobs or positions in society. They had to deal with violent groups who hated immigrants. The Japanese were put in concentration camps and all Asians were not allowed to enter for some time. The discrimination that these new immigrants faced was ironic in its nature since the people doing the discrimination were either immigrants themselves or had immigrant ancestors.