Chapter 3: Leaving the Homeland

Noonan, Sheila Smith
January 2004
Immigration from the Middle East;2004, p15
Book Chapter
People from the Middle East have been immigrating to North America for more than a century. Over that period, several significant changes have occurred in U.S. and Canadian immigration policy. In addition, North Americans' attitudes toward newcomers have varied. 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 United States. Historically, race and ethnicity have played a role in legislation to restrict immigration. In Canada, immigrants are recognized as being essential to Canada's future. More than 300,000 Canadians are of Arab descent.


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