"Give me your scientists, your doctors, your teachers, but keep your huddled masses to yourselves.
This quotation vividly shows the problems the leaders of less developed countries find in the immigration policies of the United States. It demonstrates how the US shows a preference towards the skilled and educated, and freely allows these "useful" immigrants to enter the United States of America. This policy encourages an under developed country's most intelligent and promising people to leave, thereby decreasing that nation's ability to grow and prosper. It keeps their best hopes away from home and makes their attempts to develop that much more difficult. The scientists, doctors, and teachers we readily accept into our nation are the very ones needed most in their homelands.
During the period of 1789-1920, US immigration policy was basically nonexistent. There were no quantitative laws against immigration. We did not restrict the amount of immigration because at this time it was considered a positive. The immigrants mainly looked like the current Americans and were easy to "assimilate." Also, there were many jobs available, which needed to be filled, and land was free. With industrialization occurring, more and more positions for work were opening. Industry needed all the people it could get for labor. Therefore, immigrants were welcomed into the US.
In the next period, 1921-1964, immigration was not so warmly received. These "New Immigrants" faced considerable discrimination. They had different skin colors, languages, and customs; the competition for jobs was thick and the frontier had been closed. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the American Protectivist Association, and labor unions took up the idea of nativism. Nativism is an anti-immigration belief that led to many laws to restrict immigration. The National Origins System was created in 1921, along with the Emergency Quota Act, which limited the number of people that could come from each country into the US.