From 1820 to 1930, the United States received about 60% of the world s immigrants. Population expansion in developed areas of the world, improved methods of transportation. Reasons for immigration, like those for migration, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. These economic, political, and social conditions led to the New immigration after 1890. Take for instance the political reasons, where new immigrants favored democratic America where citizens had a voice in government because European governments were run by upper classes and commoners had no say in political matters. When it comes to social reasons we see that the European society was characterized by class distinctions for the lower class and discrimination against religious minorities, and most European governments forced young men to serve terms of military service. Economically, European city workers worked for low wages ant there was unemployment. Immigrants figured finding a job would be easy and making money would be a cinch.
There is quite a difference between New immigration and Old immigration in which, the old immigrants came from Northern and Western Europe such as, Ireland, Germany, Great Britain, and Scandinavian countries before 1890. They arrived when the frontiers were open to them, in which they settled down on farms. On the other hand, New immigrations occurred at a later time, particularly after 1890, where immigrants came from Southern and Eastern Europe such as Greece, Russia (Poland), Italy, and Austria-Hungary. They arrived when the frontier was closed. They then settled in the cities as factory workers and were secluded to the Pales of settlement where the immigrants were forced to live in special areas and were declined to education and legal and economic discrimination. The immigrant experience was absolutely bitter. When the immigrants came to the United States they traveled by ship; not only was the seawater rough, so was their position. Immigrants were forced to steerage, where the air was hot, people were sick, and the space was limited. When the immigrants reached Ellis Island, immigrants were always forced to check for diseases, they were not able to proceed without an annual check-up. After this, they were separated from there families and were constantly uprooted. It was also very difficult for them to adjust to a culture, one not similar to theirs. Some immigrants were accused by organized labor of lowering wages and living standards, though other groups of immigrants rapidly became a major part of the labor movement. Disagreement was early revealed by such organizations as the Know-nothing movement and in violent anti-Chinese riots on the West Coast. Discrimination took a hold of them, as did the struggle of their life in general.
The Emergency Act of 1921 limited 3% the annual immigration to the United States. After World War I, there was a flood of immigrants to the United States. The purpose of this law was to restrict the flow of immigrants, because immigrant space was quickly becoming almost non-existent. Immigrants were always competing with native Americans for jobs. In 1986, Congress passed legislation that seemed to limit the numbers of illegal aliens living in America, imposing harsh fines on employers who hired them and giving legal status to a number of aliens who had already lived in the United States for some time.
With changes from 1965, the United States has retreated largely from the immigration policies given in the first quarter of the twentieth century. With that retreat, and the resulting increase in the mass of immigration, the immigrant has again become a “problem.” Certainly, today’s immigration does not match that of the period around 1900. In recent years, annual immigration flows have averaged slightly above 800,000 a year, or roughly 3 per 1,000 Americans. Too much crowding is very inappropriate for the people of the United States. The United States does pertain the idea of Peace and Liberty , therefore, I feel we should not restrict immigrants, but restrict the number instead.