The History Of Immigration Laws Essay

821 Words Nov 16th, 2015 4 Pages
The History of immigration laws in the U.S that restricting entrance to certain nationalities, exemplifies anti-immigration sentiments which were based on racist ideologies. As already noted the U.S was a nation founded by immigrants who came to the U.S seeking economic opportunities to take advantage of the rise of capitalism. For a hundred years’ movement in and out of the U.S was unrestricted, however by the late 19th century descendants of these first immigrants, began to question the right of certain nationalities to enter and make a life in the U.S. The first exclusionary law that put restrictions on immigrants did not actually restrict to movement of people but established who could become American citizens. It restricted citizenship to free white people of good moral character, who would be able to file for residence after two years of living in the U.S. By establishing citizenship based on race we see the beginning of institutionalized racism which would restrict legal status for indentured servants, African slaves and Asians who had been residing in the U.S. What followed was series of laws that would expand the number of years from 2-5 and a number among other miniscule laws. The first laws boldly established the exclusion of individuals was based on the idea of excluding those considered “undesirable”, which included prostitutes and criminals and targeted Chinese and Indian immigrant laborers who had worked on contracts similarly to conditions of slaves. These…

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