In order to deal with the negative and positive effects that accompany immigration, the United States of America government has over the years adopted policies depending on economic, political, and social issues that have been surrounding the country over the years. This paper will examine the policies adapted by the United States of America government on immigration between the founding of the republic and the mid 1920’s. It will do so by examining the initial conditions that shaped the path of immigration, how and why these conditions influenced the outcomes of controversies later, that led to immigration restrictions to fail during the 19th century. Finally it will establish the exogenous changes that led to victory of restrictions in the mid 1920s. Initial Conditions That Shaped the Path that Immigration Policy Followed During This Period There are various conditions in the United States of America that are considered by most scholars in the field of sociology and immigration as the motivators that shaped the path that immigration policies took during this period. These factors are categorised into economic factors, social interests in the country during the time, national values and the electoral setup during this time (Tichenor 18). One of the major motivators of the policymaking in regard to immigration during this period was the Economy. This means that policies on immigration were made depending on the economic position that the country was in. For example, if the economy of the United States of America was performing well, then immigration policies that were adopted favoured migration of people into the unites states of America since they would provide the much needed labour for the economy to grow. When the economy was performing poorly then policies adopted would seek to minimize immigration into the U.S with the aim of reducing the high unemployment rate that accompanies an economy that is performing poorly. This was the case in the 1920’s during the great depression where immigration policies adopted by the United States of America, aimed at reducing the number of people moving into the U.S. Another good example is the immigration act that was adopted in 1917 by the U.S legislature, where by laws restricted immigration into the country in due to the poor economic conditions that were affective the natives during the time (Tichenor 21). The other condition that influenced the manner in which immigration policies as proposed by pluralist theories were adapted in the U.S as proposed by pluralist theories was the social interests present during this time. This is so since most of the policies made greatly depended on the social interest of the American people due to the power that social interest has in the United States of America. A good example is the presence of social classes in the 1880s that resulted in restriction of Asian immigrants during that period. This is where class conflict arose during this period where Chinese immigrants were restricted from entering the country despite the fact that they would provide cheaper labour (Tichenor 24). The period under discussion was at a time where businessmen and corporation were rushing for economic prosperity. This was a time at which each American was chasing the American dream where everyone wanted to be successful. As a result, immigration policies were greatly influenced by business and huge factory owners who wanted to utilize
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