Statistics

Impact of Immigration on American Society

The fear of the negative impact of immigration has led to passage of Acts. These acts restrict the inflow of immigrants to the main parts of America. Moreover, after Second World War, American soldiers married foreign women from 50 different countries. This paper will discuss the impact of the positive as well as negative impact of the immigration and the controversy revolving around the war brides of the American servicemen. Additionally in this paper, the negative impact of immigration will provide justification of the passage of Acts that intended to limit large scale immigration.1 Some level of immigration has been continuous throughout American history. There have been two epochal periods: the 1880 to 1924 Age of Mass Migration, primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe, and the Post 1965 Wave of Immigration, primarily from Latin America and Asia. In 21st century the impact of the immigration is relatively less than that in the 20th century with the American population reaching a total of 300 million. 2 Therefore, Acts were passed to limit the amount of foreigners intending to settle in America because of the fear that the Americans won’t conform to the typically American way of life. The first law that caused the prevention of Immigration was the Immigration Act of 1882. Congress passed a new Immigration Act that stated a 50 cents tax would be levied on all aliens landing at United States ports. It was an act in which the State Commission and officers were in charge of checking the passengers upon incoming vessels arriving in the U.S. The passengers were examined by a set of exclusionary criteria. Upon examination passengers who appeared to be convicts, lunatics, idiots or unable to take care of themselves were not permitted to land. The Immigration Act of 1891 was a revised version of the aforementioned Act and it declared that certain classes of individuals are considered unfit to become American citizens. 3 Moreover, the Immigration Act of 1917 excluded diseased people as well as prostitutes from immigrating to America. Also, the Immigration Act of 1924 set quotas that limited annual immigration from certain countries. The 70 million immigrants who have arrived since the founding of the republic (are responsible for the majority of the contemporary American population (Gibson 1992: 165). 3These Acts were passed because of the concern of the natives over immigrants polluting the American society or bringing negative sides of their heritage to America. In addition, in the years between 1942 and 1952, servicemen started the tradition of marrying women where they waged wars. In addition, 100000 war brides were British, 150,000 to 200,000 hailed from continental Europe, and another 16,000 came from Australia and New Zealand. There were brides from non-Allied countries, too. Military estimates indicate that 50,000 to 100,000 servicemen wed women from countries of the Far East, including Japan, and immigration records show that by 1950, 14,175 German brides of American servicemen had entered the United States. 4These statistics show the diversity with regards to the nationalities these brides belonged to. Interestingly so, foreign women were willing to marry these soldiers on the mere basis of their proximity, generosity and opportunity. British women, in particular saw the American soldiers as a breath of fresh air and the continental European pictured

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