Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

In The Beginning

Joe April 15, 2020
If you have a question please contact us at: class_question@1chq.com
The Bering land bridge is a postulated route of human migration to the Americas from Asia about 20,000 years ago.
Immigration of early European colonial settlements.
The thirteen colonies.
American Colonial Flag
New York City Manhattan The Big Apple 1776
New York City 1873
Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York City around 1890. Photo from Library of Congress.
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people commemorating the alliance of France and the United States during the American Revolution. It proudly sits on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
Migrant children left alone to survive along the Mexico U.S. Border since the creation of the DACA program.
Nearly 6,000 migrants die along the Mexico U.S. border since 2000.

So you may be asking yourself, why do I need to know the history of immigration? This has everything to do with the quality of service you will be able to offer your clients. The more you understand why and how the U.S. immigration system works the way it does, the better you will understand the process. The better you understand the process, the better services you will provide your client. So buckle up and suck it in, because we are about to dive into a little immigration history.

The United States has long been considered a nation of immigrants. However, it has not always been welcoming to immigrants. Attitudes toward new immigrants by those who came before have alternated between welcoming and selective over the years.

It has been accepted that, in the beginning, thousands of years before Europeans began crossing the Atlantic Ocean by ships and settling in groups, other immigrants arrived in North America and occupied the land that would later become the United States. They were the Native American ancestors, who crossed a narrow split of land connecting Asia to North America some thousands of years ago, during the last Ice Age.

It wasn’t until the early 1600s, that communities of European immigrants dotted the Eastern Seaboard of America, including the Spanish in Florida, the British in New England and Virginia, the Dutch in New York, and the Swedes in Delaware. Some, including the Pilgrims and the English Protestant came seeking religious freedom. Many came in search of greater economic opportunities too. Still others, including hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans, arrived in America by force. It wasn’t long before they settled colonies across the land by countries of origins.

Soon Colonial wars began and as early as the 1640s efforts began towards a common defense of the colonies, mainly, against shared threats from Indians, the French, and the Dutch. The English Christian colonies of New England formed a confederation to coordinate military and judicial matters. This is how roots of Christianity were buried in the fibers of the foundation of what will become The United States of America .

During the 1670s, several royal governors attempted to find means of coordinating defensive and offensive military matters. After King Phillip’s War, Sir Edmund Andros successfully negotiated the Covenant Chain, a series of Indian treaties that brought relative calm to the frontiers of the middle colonies for many years.

As the colonies became ever more organized they started insisting on their rights to have their own legislature. The British Parliament, however, asserted in 1765 that it held supreme authority to lay taxes, and a series of American protests began that led directly to the American Revolution. The first wave of protests attacked the Stamp Act of 1765, and marked the first time that Americans met together from each of the 13 colonies and planned a common front against British taxation. The first of these protests attacks was The Boston Tea Party, a political protest that occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. American colonists, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of tea, imported by the British East India Company into the Boston Harbor because it contained a hidden tax that Americans refused to pay. The British responded by trying to crush traditional liberties in Massachusetts, leading to the American revolution starting in 1775.

A new country was born, The United States of America. The new Americans declared,  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These early Americans began working hard for their life, liberty and for the pursuit of happiness for themselves and their families. These hardships for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what it means to be an American. But soon they begun to take notice that new arrivals were ready to work for a lot less than those who had worked hard and made a name for themselves.

Needless to say, the new United States began regulating immigration soon after it won independence from Great Britain, and the laws enacted since have reflected the demand of the people through their prospective politics and migrant flows of the times. Early legislation tended to impose limits that favored Europeans, but a sweeping 1965 law opened doors to immigrants from other parts of the world. In more recent years, laws and presidential actions have been shaped by concerns about the overwhelming number refugees, unauthorized immigration and terrorism.

Starting back in 1875, a series of restrictions on immigration were enacted. They included bans on criminals, people with contagious diseases, polygamists, anarchists, beggars and importers of prostitutes. Other restrictions targeted the rising number of Asian immigrants, first limiting migration from China and later banning immigration from most Asian countries due to the numbers of low earning migrants. Always keeping the prosperity of the American people in mind.

By the early 1900s, the nation’s predominant immigration flow shifted away from northern and western European nations and toward southern and eastern Europe. In response, laws were passed in 1921 and 1924 to try to restore earlier immigration patterns by capping total annual immigration and imposing numerical quotas based on immigrant nationality that favored northern and western European countries.

In 1943 long-standing immigration restrictions began to crumble when a law allowed a limited number of Chinese to immigrate. Then again in 1952, legislation allowed a limited number of visas for other Asians, and race was formally removed as grounds for exclusion. Although a presidential commission recommended scrapping the national-origins quota system, Congress did not go along.

In 1965, though, a combination of political, social and geopolitical factors led to passage of the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act that created a new system favoring family reunification and skilled immigrants, rather than country quotas. The law also imposed the first limits on immigration from the Western Hemisphere. At the time Latin Americans had been allowed to enter the U.S. without many restrictions. Since the enactment of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, immigration has been dominated by people born in Asia and Latin America, rather than Europe. This was a major shift in the immigration laws of the country.

Since then several laws have focused on refugees, and have paved the way for entrance of Indochinese refugees fleeing war violence in the 1970s and later including relief for other nationalities, including Chinese, Nicaraguans and Haitians. A 1990 law created the “temporary protective status” that has protected immigrants, mainly Central Americans, from deportation to countries facing natural disasters, armed conflicts and other extraordinary conditions.

Congress enacted another major law in 1986 – the Immigration Reform and Control Act – that granted legalization to millions of unauthorized immigrants, mainly from Latin America, who met certain conditions. The law also imposed sanctions on employers who hired unauthorized immigrants. Subsequent laws in 1996, 2002 and 2006 were responses to concerns about terrorism and unauthorized immigration. These measures emphasized border control, prioritized enforcement of laws on hiring immigrants and tightened admissions eligibility.

The most recent changes in immigration policy have been an exception to that pattern. In 2012, President Obama took executive action to allow young adults who had been brought to the country illegally to apply for deportation relief and work permits. Once again in 2014, Obama expanded that program (known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA) and set up a new program to offer similar benefits to some unauthorized/ illegal -immigrant parents of U.S.-born children. The DACA expansion and the new program (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA) are on hold because of a legal challenge by 26 states.

It is argued that these laws jeopardize thousands of lives by encouraging or otherwise enticing people to enter the United States illegally and pregnant so that childbirth may take place in the country. Even worse, it encourages parents to drop kids of at the U.S. border and to enter the country through difficult terrains for days by themselves for the advantage of the protections offered by the DACA program.

Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration laws of that country, or the continued residence of people without the legal right to live in that country. Immigrants who enter the country illegally do not get work permits. Without the authorization to work they often commit crimes as a means of survival or become dependents of the states and tax payers for basic necessities such as medical treatment, food and shelter.