Share
Explore BrainMass

Illegal Immigration: A Brief History and Current Perspective

Reference:
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/i/immigration-and-emigration/index.html

What is the historical framework of this issue?

In the very early years in America there was no legislation regulating immigration. We were a new country and needed every warm body we could get our hands on. As the nation grew with the Louisiana Purchase, the Gadsden Purchase and the acquisition of the west coast the government of the United States desperately needed people to settle the land and make it profitable. Limits on immigration then did not exist in America until the mid- 1800's. The first immigration legislation was passed in 1875. This law banned convicts and prostitutes from immigrating to America. I don't know how they determined that immigrants were involved in these professions since it's not something one would openly disclose, but at any rate it was the first law on the books.

In the late 1880's President Chester A. Arthur passed several laws limiting immigration. These laws banned almost all immigrants from China and also banned paupers, criminals and the mentally ill. These laws really did not affect the majority of potential immigrants. However, these laws functioned to define even more the difference between legal and illegal immigration. Ellis Island opened in 1892 and nearly all immigrants from Europe were screened here. Because of the screening done and paperwork necessary to be completed before setting foot in America, few illegal immigrants entered the U.S. through Ellis Island.

Solution Preview

What is the historical framework of this issue?

In the very early years in America there was no legislation regulating immigration. We were a new country and needed every warm body we could get our hands on. As the nation grew with the Louisiana Purchase, the Gadsden Purchase and the acquisition of the west coast the government of the United States desperately needed people to settle the land and make it profitable. Limits on immigration then did not exist in America until the mid- 1800's. The first immigration legislation was passed in 1875. This law banned convicts and prostitutes from immigrating to America. I don't know how they determined that immigrants were involved in these professions since it's not something one would openly disclose, but at any rate it was the first law on the books.

In the late 1880's President Chester A. Arthur passed several laws limiting immigration. These laws banned almost all immigrants from China and also banned paupers, criminals and the mentally ill. These laws really did not affect the majority of potential immigrants. However, these laws functioned to define even more the difference between legal and illegal immigration. Ellis Island opened in 1892 and nearly all immigrants from Europe were screened here. Because of the screening done and paperwork necessary to be completed before setting foot in America, few illegal immigrants entered the U.S. through Ellis Island.

The primary route of illegal immigration historically is the same as it is today. The border between the United States and Mexico has been the breach in the defenses so to speak. Congress began hearing heated complaints about illegal immigration from Mexico as early as the 1920's. In 1928 ...

Solution Summary

This discussion highlights the history of illegal immigration in America. It also views illegal immigration from a contemporary perspective. Over 1,000 words of original text along with links to informative sites for further research.

$2.19