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Immigrations Policy

             The immigration policy has always been a controversial issue in the United States even though we are a "nation of immigrants." Even though there was tension by nativist opposition, the "golden door" access to America's vast continental frontier prevailed until the Immigration Act of 1875. The nativist then got their way in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1884, where scientific racism provided a justification for the restriction of eastern and southern Europeans as well as Asian immigration. These acts were in effect for the U.S. policy regarding immigration until the mid-20th Century. In 1952 the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed which transformed the immigration practices into a system of national quotas based on each group's percentage of the 1920 census, with the exception of refugees from a communist state. In 1965 while the progressive civil rights movement was occurring, the Immigration and Nationality Act set the tone for contemporary immigration laws by eliminating the national origins system to favor categories like family reunification, personal qualifications and the order of applications received. During the 1970's most of the immigrations were coming from Asia and Latin America which is where most of the immigration comes from today in the United States.
             In the 1980's the public's concern and focus had focused on illegal immigration. In 1986 the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) created a system of employer .
             sanctions. Employers were now required to examine appropriate documentation verifying legalized entry to the U.S. The IRCA relied on voluntary compliance from the employers to check the documentation and by January 1989 the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) had handed out 610 employer fines for employing illegal aliens. The IRCA amnesty program enabled the legalization of those illegal aliens who had been residing in the United States since January of 1982 which was about 1.

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