Chapter 3: A Brief History of Immigration to North America

Hernandez, Romel
January 2004
Immigration from Central America;2004, p15
Book Chapter
Immigration to the United States has been characterized by openness punctuated by periods of restriction. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, immigration was essentially open without restriction, and, at times, immigrants were even recruited to come to the U.S. Until the 1920's, no numerical restrictions on immigration existed in the United States, although health restrictions applied. The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act is best known for its restrictions against those who supported communism or anarchy. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 became a landmark in immigration legislation by specifically striking the racially based national-origin quotas. The Sanctuary Movement of the 1980's arose in response to the U.S. immigration policies that did not recognize Guatemalans and Salvadorans fleeing war as political refugees.


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