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Immigration History

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					 Immigration: A Catholic
        Response
          Part I:
U.S. History of Immigration
For generations, our families
      have migrated…
Statue of Liberty
Give me your tired,
your poor,
Your huddled masses
yearning to breathe
free.
The wretched refuse
of your teeming shore.
Send these,
the homeless,
tempest-tossed to me,
I life my lamp beside
the golden door.

   Emma Lazarus
Immigrants satisfy a U.S. demand

In the 1990s: over half of US workforce
  growth was from immigrants.
• 2000-2005: immigrants accounted for 86%
  of increase in US employment (about 50%
  were Hispanics of which 50% Mexican).
• For next 20 years, no net increase is
  predicted in the number of prime working-
  age natives (ages 15-54).
              “Push” to
           U.S. Immigration

• 1840-50: Irish Potato Famine – mostly
  Irish Catholics come.
• 1850: U.S. seizes 1/3 of Mexico
• Mexican border relatively open until
  1920
  – Mexicans come and go freely
  – 1910: Mexican Revolution seizes land
  – 1920: Cristero Movement repressed
           “Push” to
        U.S. Immigration
Chinese rush to U.S. in 1840-1870
– 1839-42: Opium War with Britain
– Loss of Hong Kong to Britain
– Taiping Rebellion 1850-64
– Agricultural crisis and rice shortage
               “Push” to
            U.S. Immigration
• 1890-1924: Period of greatest immigration
• Ellis Island: 1892 – 1924:
   – 5000 enter daily, maybe 1 in 50 rejected
   – 12 million had entered by 1954 when
     closed
• WWI generates Italian, Slav, Greek, Polish,
  Jewish immigrants (Southern Europe)
   Historic “Pull” of Immigrants
      Immigrants satisfy US economic needs

• 1864: 1st comprehensive federal immigration law to
  work frontier (RR, mining, farming, e.g., Chinese
  recruited for Calif gold rush 1848-1882).
• 1870s: Companies recruit in Mexico in part to
  replace Chinese, but mostly seasonal.
• 1882: Chinese Exclusion Act, denies more entries,
  no return if leave, sponsoring relatives and
  citizenship denied.
• WWI: Government, industry and agriculture contract
  Mexican labor.
      U.S. Limits Immigration
• Limits usually accompanied by anti immigrant,
  xenophobic campaigns e.g., anti Chinese
  movement in midst of 1870 US depression.

• Up to 1850s – 85% of immigrants were English,
  Scotch Irish, and German; all other groups
  suspect because “Not like us.”

• After WWI: door slammed shut:
  – 1900-1915: 15 million enter U.S.
  – 1915-1930: 5.5 million enter U.S.
  U.S. Limits Immigration
1917: Literacy Act – very exclusionary
– need to write or speak English and another
  language
– aims to exclude southern Europeans & Jews
  & excluded all Asians, including Indians,
  Malaysians, etc. Even though 12% of US
  Army is Italian.
– 9th Proviso: exception for farm workers, mostly
  Mexicans.
     U.S. Limits Immigration
• 1918-1921: Red scare aggravates fear
     & anti-immigrant reaction.
• 1921-1924: Quota Law – 1st time
  numerical limits; uses 1910 proportion,
  favoring north Europeans.
• Border Patrol created; Mexican border
  becomes a tangible reality, though still
  permeable.
    U.S. Limits Immigration
1924 Immigration Act severely limits
    because
  – Racial superiority of Anglo Saxons
  – Immigrants cause lowering of wages
  – Do not assimilate
  – Threat to national identity & unity
  – Limits immigrants to 2% of their national
    group in 1890, thus against south & east
    Europeans
Mexican immigrants recruited
• 1900-1910: 49,000 immigrants enter,
        50% are Mexicans.
• 1920: 500,000 Mexicans emigrated
  – Poverty & unrest in Mexico before 1910
  – Restrictions on Japanese, like Chinese
  – Demand for labor in RR, agric, mines
  – Waiver of $5 head tax
  – Seen as temporary, not staying
  – Will work in undesirable jobs & locations
Mexican immigrants deported
               Depression

 - Mexican immigration slows to trickle
 - Emigration exceeds immigration 3-1
 - Violent reaction against Mexicans as cities &
   states round up and deport them
 - Many leave on own out of fear
 - In 15 month period in 1931, 2 million
   Mexicans leave.
“Pull” of Mexican immigrants
• WWII: (1942-1964) Treaty with Mexico to
  contract workers (Bracero Program)
  – Private contracts but feds help recruit
  – US demand initially small, but soon outstrips
    visas so in early 1950s growers recruit
    undocumented.
  – 1942-1946: 4.6 million braceros admitted
  – 1950: 67,000 braceros to 450,000 in 1956
  – Same time: 5.2 million illegal immigrants
    arrested.
“Pull” of Mexican Immigrants
 – US knew Bracero program would foment
   illegal immigration e.g., cut Border Patrol
 – Undocumented benefit government & private
   sector.
   • Government need not pay cost of $450/worker
   • Owners save $25 bond on each, $15
     contracting fee & other restrictions.
 – Early 1950’s: Prosperity pulls poor Puerto
   Ricans (U.S. citizens) & others.
 Historic “Pull” & Limiting
Recession increases arrests in 1950-1956:
  • 1934-43: 10,000/year
  • 1944-54: 277,000/year
  • 1954: 1,090,000 (Operation Wetback)
  • 1956: 30,000
  • Illegal immigration issue disappears
        History of Immigration
• European immigration slows in early 1950s due
  to McCarthyism scare.

• 1952: McCarran-Walter Act against communist
  subversives:
   - Creates INS & moves it from Labor to Justice
   - Establishes 4 category preference system
      • 50% to more educated
      • 50% to 3 preferences for family of citizens &
        residents – 1st time
      History of Immigration

• 1959: U.S. receives large numbers of Cuban
  refugees.

• 1960-65: JFK & LBJ try to eliminate
  discriminatory national quotas
    Contradictions of Push,
        Pull & Limiting
• 1964: Civil Rights movement highlights
  abuses of braceros
• 1965: Amendment to Civil Rights
  • Asian immigration restrictions eliminated
  • Asians immigrants explode in 70s & 80s:
    Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia & bring families.
  • Together with Latinos = 85% of all immigrants
    till 1990s
  Contradictions of Push,
      Pull & Limiting
• Readjusts quota system 20,000 for each non-
  Western country regardless of size
   • 170,000 visas for Eastern Hemisphere,
   • 75% for family of citizens y LPRs

• Only 120,000 for Western Hemisphere, which
  creates backlog of Mexicans
• 1965-1976: 300,000 backlog of West requests
   • Annually Mexicans used 40,000 of 120,000
     visas
   • US wrongly gave 150,000 Western visas to
     Cubans
       Contradictions of Push,
           Pull & Limiting
• 1975: Law disallows woman with child born in
  U.S. to apply for LPR; child may apply when 21.
• 1976: US cuts Mexican visas to 20,000
         • 3rd preference of married
           sons/daughters of citizens = 10 years
         • 4th preference of bros/sisters = 12 years
• 1979: After Pres Carter appoints Fr Hesburg to
  commission to review policy, receives recom-
  mendation for employer sanctions (an idea
  rejected since 1870s) and broad legalization.
       Contradictions of Push,
           Pull & Limiting
• 1986: Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA):
     • 2 step legalization process, legalizing 2.5
       million (“amnesty”), less than expected, who
       fulfill restrictive criteria.
     • Employer sanctions
     • Outlaws unfair immigration related
       employment practices
       Contradictions of Push,
           Pull & Limiting
• 1996: Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
  Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) hastily passed on
  eve of threatened government shutdown (9/30).
  – Harshest law in U.S. history
     • Retroactively increased grounds of deportability
     • Greatly limited judicial review & political asylum
     • Mandated 10-year bar to return for residing illegally
       in U.S. for a year or more.
     • Permanent bar for false claim to U.S. citizenship
     • Greatly restricted waivers.
     Contradictions of Push,
         Pull & Limiting
• 2001: Pres Fox receives standing ovation when
  calls for broad legalization before joint Congress
• 9/11: Hope-filled meeting between Fox and Pres
  Bush for 9/13 canceled. They never meet.
• Severe tightening of immigration procedures
   – 2003: Homeland Security takes over INS role
   – Immigration takes on anti-terrorism flavor
   – All applications take much longer to process
       Contradictions of Push,
           Pull & Limiting
• 2005: Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduces
  controversial bill, passes House in 7 days:
   – Felony to aid undocumented people
   – Felony to enter U.S. illegally
   – Felony to overstay or violate a visa
• March 10, May 1 2006 & 2007: Largest
  demonstrations in U.S. history
• 1/2007: Strive bill introduced as more
• compassionate alternative, but strong opposition
  from the right, forces Senate to drop efforts in
  summer. Senate passes stronger enforcement.
       Contradictions of Push,
           Pull & Limiting
• 2005: Harsher rulings on waivers
  – Of 300,000 applications for Cancellation of
    Removal, 99% denied and there is no appeal.
  – Those applying fulfill the following:
     • In U.S. for 10 uninterrupted years before arrest
     • A person of good character, no crime
     • Has spouse, parent or child who is US citizen
       or PLR
     • Would suffer extreme hardship if deported.
    Contradictions of Push,
        Pull & Limiting
Increased enforcement in 2007
• Congress approves 700 miles of fence, more
  $ for border patrol officers and technology
• Deportations escalate, 270,000 in FY 07,
  most in history.
• More detention space funded, detention soars
  to 27,000.
• Minutemen created as vigilante force.
       Contradictions of Push,
           Pull & Limiting
• 2005: Harsher rulings on waivers
  – Of 300,000 applications for Cancellation of
    Removal, 99% denied and there is no appeal.
  – Those applying fulfill the following:
     • In U.S. for 10 uninterrupted years before arrest
     • A person of good character, no crime
     • Has spouse, parent or child who is US citizen
       or PLR
     • Would suffer extreme hardship if deported.
    Contradictions of Push,
        Pull & Limiting
Municipalities & states pass strict laws:
  • Oklahoma: harshest law making any aid to
    illegal immigrants a crime. Tulsa
    Archbishop denounces it.
  • Waukegan & many other cities require
    police to ask for ID and if none, to turn over
    persons to ICE.
  • Arizona law fines and then cancels
    business licenses of those caught hiring
    undocumented people.
            The Future?
• 2007: Save Act stays alive in House,
  focusing on enforcement only.

• 2008: Presidential campaign creates
  limited debate:
    • Democrats shy from the issue
    • Republicans emphasize enforcement
    Rise in # of legal immigrants
•   1950s: 2.5 million
•   1960s: 3.3 million
•   1970s: 4.5 million
•   1980s: 7.3 million
•   1990s: 9.1 million – biggest decade

				
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posted:9/2/2011
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