Research Paper On Immigration
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History and Anthropology
Research Paper on Mexican Immigration
Immigration is the movement of people from one place to another for the sake of permanent residence. It takes place both legally and illegally. Legal immigration is considered as a significant source of population growth in a country. Immigration history of the United States is ancient. It had colonies once, and a large number of people from different places moved to America. The percentage of Native Americans is smaller than immigrants. Likewise, Mexico has been the leading source of immigrants to the United States. It has a unique status in the immigration history of the United States. Throughout history, the immigration laws and policies have been amended for immigration from Mexico. However, in the 20th Century, immigration from Mexico is remembered in three shifts. These are considered as the significant sources of population in the United States. Therefore, this research paper aims to study each period of the surge in the 20th century. It will provide an extensive history of immigration of Mexican/Latinos towards the United States. It will also study the contributing factors of migration by using some relevant sources from Literature. It comprises of the history of immigration only in the 20th Century.
Therefore, this research report overviews the immigration of Mexicans to the United States and also reviews the contributing factors of migration along with the history of the migration policies of the United States. The significance of the study is that, it will help to identify the significant issues, and it will also help in shaping the current immigration policies of the United States. At the same time, it will help to understand the historical context of immigration. The paper will also help to know the consequences of the reforms of immigration policies.
One of the major periods of flow of refugees into the United States is the Mexican Revolution. It started in 1910 when dictatorship ended in Mexico, and a proper constitutional republic was established in Mexico. Some renowned revolutionaries participated in the fight. As a result, in 1917 a proper constitution was dignified, and the rebel groups presented most of the reforms. The revolution started because of the dissatisfying policies of Porfirio Diaz1. During 1910-1920, when violence was at a peak in Mexico, people were fleeing to the United States1. At the same time, many politicians also exiled to the United States to escape the war and violence.
Moreover, many of the rural Mexicans were searching for opportunities and ways of employment. Due to it, there was a sharp increase in Mexican Migration to the United States. According to an estimate, the migration rates for Mexicans was 20,000 per year, between 1910 to 19201. However, for the Mexicans moving to the US was not permanent most of the times. There is a short distance between both of the countries. Mexicans could go back easily, and many of the immigrants did so when the conditions in Mexico get improved. The first surge started in initial 1900s when the revolution took place in Mexico, and the United States had an improved economy which also influenced the increased immigration rates from Mexico. Likewise, by 1930s the immigration population was increased thrice2. At the same time, Texas was serving as a gateway for the immigrants. It is also considered as the dominant symbol of change and hope for survival for their families.
Later on, the Immigration Act 1924 was passed in the United States. According to the reforms in this act, Mexico was excepted from the quotas because of the farmers in the United States. The southern region argued that without the labors from Mexico, they would not be able to do farming. Under the law, the border police at the US-Mexican border would collect a fee from the Mexicans who were entering the United States. It does not mean that it decreased the hurdles for Mexicans. Many Mexicans were facing racial discrimination, and they were working on low wages.
Soon after the quotas, the Cristero War erupted in Mexico. In 1926 to 1929, the Catholic members stood against the Federal Government of Mexico3. They took weapons against the laws that were inducing restrictions on the role of the Catholic Church in public. There were 98% of the Catholic population in the country at that time, and it triggered a furious response from the Public. Many of the people decided to go on a war against the government until the laws are not abolished. As a result, a new wave of refugees, immigrants, and exiles ran away from the conflict and the economic instability of Mexico. The Cristero War also influenced the migrants in the United States, and protests were organized in the United States against the Mexican government.
However, in 1929 when the depression hit the economic grounds, many of the companies were shut, and there was not any need of migrants as laborers2. There was a widespread economic decline due to the great depression. As a result, a competition started between the immigrants and the native workers for low-wage jobs. In 1929, the US government decided to send back the immigrants to Mexico. The Immigration and Naturalization Services conducted raids and arrested the immigrants along with their children and deported to Mexico. Therefore, many of the Mexican immigrants moved back to Mexico.
Later on, in 1943, there was a shortage of labors in the United States due to World War II3. The American Citizens have left the railway and agriculture sector jobs for the sake of new opportunities with improved salaries. As a result, the United States signed an agreement with the Mexican government for guest workers. During this era till 1964, about 4.5 million labors signed the contract and moved to the United States to fill the labor shortages3. The workers were provided residence along with the compensation. However, it was observed that many of the employers violated the agreements by not fulfilling the requirements.
Moreover, other laws like The Mc-Carran-Walter Act in 1952 also excluded the Mexicans from the quotas. As a result again a gap was created, and the demand for labors increased in the United States. Many employers from the United States to Mexico to hire more workers. Workers traveled to the US without contracts. Then, Operation Wetback held and undocumented Mexican immigrants deported to Mexico. About One million people deported.
Likewise, the 3rd surge goes back to 1960s. At that time, the US Immigration and Nationality Act 1965 was passed3. It was the era of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act. It increased the annual immigration number. It also brought a new migration policy for the Mexicans who were migrating to the United States. Among those migrants, most of them relocated permanently. However, until the 1970s the percentage of Mexican Immigrants reached over 80 and most of them were the temporary workers who came to the United States to work on agricultural fields for a short period. After saving some money, they would move back to Mexico. Moreover, under the 1965 Act, reforms encouraged the permanent immigration of Mexicans by providing them aids to permanently get settled in the United States along with their families4.
Furthermore, in 1986 the Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed. It also encouraged the Mexican Migrants to settle in the United States4. Under this law, undocumented migrants were provided amnesty. It aimed to promote temporary migrants to stay in the US permanently. When migrants would receive permanent documents, they would bring their families to the United States. Those family reunification visas caused the United States population to boom. Initially, the immigrants were moving to the specific states of the United States, but then, they started migrating to other countries as well.
Throughout the 20th the immigration policies and laws for Mexicans were altered by the United States by keeping their own needs and demands in mind. The game of welcoming the Immigrants and slumming the doors on their face other times remained throughout the 20th century. Finally, Mexicans make up a significant portion of the US population. They have made a place for themselves in the US community regardless of all hurdles and difficulties throughout history.
In conclusion, immigration plays a more significant role in increasing the population of a country. It can take place in various forms, but the most appropriate way is legal immigration. The legal immigration depends on the Immigration policies and reforms of a country. Likewise, Mexican Immigration history throughout the 20th century also reflects on the consequences of different Immigration Acts and Laws in the United States.
Therefore, the research report has been able to inform about the detail factors affecting Mexican Immigrations. It also overviews the history of the immigration policies of the United States. It has also studied each surge of immigration in the 20th century. The paper has successfully identified that all the immigration policies for the Mexican migrants depend upon the economic conditions of the United States. Moreover, the current government can review the existing policies by viewing history.
Sheridan, Clare. "Contested citizenship: National identity and the Mexican immigration debates of the 1920s." Journal of American Ethnic History 21, no. 3 (2002): 3-35.
Katz, Michael B., Mark J. Stern, and Jamie J. Fader. "The Mexican immigration debate: The view from history." Social Science History 31, no. 2 (2007): 157-189.
Durand, Jorge, Douglas S. Massey, and Fernando Charvet. "The changing geography of Mexican immigration to the United States: 1910-1996." Social Science Quarterly 81, no. 1 (2000): 1-16.
Massey, Douglas S., and Karen A. Pren. "Unintended consequences of US immigration policy: Explaining the post‐1965 surge from Latin America." Population and development review 38, no. 1 (2012): 1-29.
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