Immigration | World | United States | Human Rights Watch

United States: Latest US Immigration News & Policies
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Immigration | World | United States | Human Rights …

After the Mexican War in 1849 the United States claimed the territory that now includes California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Colorado, Utah and Nevada. The Mexicans in these areas had an option to return to Mexico or stay living in what was newly considered the United States. Most did not return and the United States did not enforce any border laws. The lack of structure caused a culture to develop along the border. People would work in one country and live in another. The United States did not seem to be concerned with this issue as they were not included in the quota system of the National Origins Act of 1924.

since it permits individuals to better themselves as it strengthens the United States
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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, et al., No

With the creation of the United States, there was much debate over who were the “founding fathers”. At the time the population was a combination of Europeans of all different nations and languages, Native Americans and African slaves. However, neither Native Americans (the original founders) nor African Slaves were even considered citizens. It was a question of whether the United States was a country of one specific group; White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant men and women or one that welcomed newcomers from different countries, different religions and who spoke different languages. Difference of opinion on this point created the first political party, the Federalists.

The History of Immigration Policies in the U.S. - …
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In September of 1996 the Clinton administration passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. The bill intended to make deportations easier and focused on immigrants with criminal convictions. It also penalized employers who hired undocumented workers. That same year Congress passed the 1996 Welfare Bill which put up barriers to undocumented immigrants from receiving any public benefits and any legal immigrant from receiving food stamps. That year a large group of naturalized immigrants went out to vote and raise their voice. The following year Congress returned some but not all of the benefits to legal permanent residents.

the overall problems of the immigration system in the United States
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After the September 11th attacks in 2001 the government quickly implemented several enforcement measures to protect our national security. In 2002 the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act was passed which created new verification methods of documents when traveling into the United States from other countries and stricter security checkpoints. In 2006 a bill was passed that allowed the construction of an 850 mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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It was not until 1980 that the Refugee Act was enacted. This law laid out a refugee policy separate from immigration policy. Any person in fear of persecution in their home country could apply to enter the United States under the Refugee Act. The passage of the bill saw a mass of applications by immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. However, their approval rates were very low demonstrating flaws in the bill.

Ellis Island Immigration Tour - Scholastic

Before 1980 there weren’t any standards in dealing with refugees. Immigrants claiming refugee and asylum status were brought legally to the United States on an ad hoc basis. The Attorney General could have refugees enter the United States for emergency reasons. At the time there were several groups that came fleeing Communist regimes, specifically Hungarians, Chinese and Cubans. In 1975 Southeast Asians were also admitted after the Vietnam War.

This content resource is an interactive tour of Ellis Island

The new system had a major effect on countries in the Western hemisphere, especially Mexico. Without quotas there was a long waiting list of Mexicans wanting to immigrate into the United States. European immigration was among the most prevalent before 1960, but with the 1965 Act large masses of immigrants from Asian and Hispanic countries rose dramatically. This caused fear and racial concerns to rise as well. President Nixon focused on applying stricter enforcement laws to counter those fears. He implemented large scale raids and deportations in Mexican communities. President Ford then created the “Domestic Council Committee on Illegal Aliens” to study the effects of undocumented workers in the United States. The results of the study showed that immigrants were good for the economy and they gave more in taxes than they took in welfare or health care.