Immigration Policies

U.S. Immigration Policy Over The Years ((Library of Congress))

In this presentation we analyze how U.S. immigration policy affected two particular groups of people: Jews and Mexicans.

The Eastern European Jews were affected by the early immigration policies from 1880 to 1927 which involved a back and forth political discourse between an “open door” and “restrictionist” policy. As U.S. moved towards World War I, the country became more selective about the type of immigrants to be admitted. It was also during this time when immigration policy came under auspices of the federal government and became more uniform.

Mexican immigration is less cut-and-dry when it comes to how they have been affected by United States policy over the years, because undocumented immigration is a key characteristic of this group of immigrants.  Mexican immigration policy has oscillated between “open” and “closed” as unintentional side effects of economic plans and international happenings, but has often not significantly limited the flow of Mexican migrants into the U.S..  At the moment, while President Obama had announced his concern about current immigration policies the U.S. may hold, immigration policy in the later years has become more the domain of state governments, and everyone has a different opinion.

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