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The Immigration History in the United States Research Paper

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Updated: May 31st, 2019


Organization of states, countries and nations is characterized with boarder rules that govern movements; such movements include the transfer of people, goods as well as services across the territories. Immigration refers to the movement of people from their country into another with the aim of staying in that country permanently. Such immigrations are said to be illegal if they contravene the established laws of the country they are moving into.

Complications over implementation of laws on immigration on the other hand arise due to full acquisitions of rights in the country into which a person has moved to. This paper seeks to argue that parents who are illegal immigrants should be deported to their own countries even if their children are citizens of the United States because they (parents) should follow the legal process. This paper will look into the history of immigration in the United States, legal provisions over illegal immigrants and their impact.

History of Immigration in the United States

The history of immigration into the United States coincides with the history of the states. It is for example hard to consider who the true natives of America are owing to the fact that most of the American races trace their origins of ancestry to other countries.

One of the first races of people to have been reported in the United States for example were a group from Asia that is reported to have moved into the region about twenty thousand years ago. This group has been accredited for the ancestry of the United States’ current considered native population.

The instance of significant immigration into the land is associated with movements of Europeans and Asians into the region in the seventeenth century. The information and perception that had spread over the United States’ vast resources for instance attracted Europeans who were interested in exploiting the resources.

Consequently, there was immigration of people from other continents that were in most cases forced so as to help in supplying labor for the Europeans investments. Such were the historic movements of slaves from regions such as Africa, the Caribbean and parts of Asia (Rapid, 2008).

According to Anderson (2010), there was an overwhelming immigration into America in the seventeenth century with respect to the then population in America as well as the populations in the countries from which the people came from. He argued that about seven hundred thousand people had moved to settle in the United States by the year 1760.

It is also estimated that America received more than two hundred thousand immigrants from the then United Kingdom in a span of thirty years that ended in the year 1660, about seventy five thousand immigrants from Germany were also realized in the same time frame a century later with more than a hundred thousand Irish people being realized in the country in the same period as the Germans.

This sequence of settlements established a trend that is still being realized as people moved into the United States in search for greener pasture. These movements were spread over to the nineteenth century with Germans and Irish populations forming the majority of immigrants.

The attractive environment that was portrayed in America together with unfavorable conditions in other parts of the world has however been the major reason for such experienced immigration. The immigration has over time been diverse to realize global representation of global populations in the United States (Anderson, 2010).

The move towards restricting

Restrictions of immigration into the United States have been in existence for centuries now. It started with discriminatory moves that were meant to discourage immigrants and further legislations that were made to restrict the movements into the United States.

A legislation made in the year 1882 in the name of “the Chinese exclusion act” (Anderson, 2010, p. 8) for example provided for measures to restrict Chinese people from becoming American citizens and established the ground for deportation of any Chinese who would be found in the American land without constitutional certification. Subsequent legislations followed in the twentieth century with enactment of bills that were established for the sole purpose of controlling immigration.

Legislations such as quarter laws of the year 1921, immigration act of 1924, displaced persons act enacted in the year 1948 and immigrations and nationality act of the year 1952 among others are some of the provisions that have been made to restrict immigration into the United States and the legislations further made it clear that such moves are illegal.

The movements however persists with foreigners streaming to the United States without proper validated documents and with the intention of settling in the country so as to enjoy the benefits of the celebrated economy against the fact that such moves are illegal and carry judicial penalties (Anderson, 2010).

Arguments for strict measures against illegal immigrants

The fact that people continue streaming into America and yet they clearly know that the acts are illegal presents the burden of forcing the authorities to implement the established laws on these individuals. There are a number of reasons as to why such immigrations should be restricted even apart from the evident fact that the American constitution restricts some manner of influx across its borders.

Impacts of Immigration

The truth is that immigration has a lot of impacts on America and the people of the United States in general. Whenever a significant movement of people is realized into the nation, there is a resultant impact that range from economic to social factors. One of the reasons for immigration which is the level of hardship in other regions, causing citizens to move for better economic situations has been a factor that draws attention of individuals globally towards America.

According to Sari and Ker of Harvard University, such individuals will be motivated towards countries that have better or even best conditions for their needs. They also express the fact that once individuals have been driven by economic strains in their countries and they move into the United States, they cause an economic impact in the American economy. One of the economic impacts that are caused by these immigrations is the level of competition that natives of the United States are subjected to in the job market.

The inflow of immigrants into the states that are in most cases driven by the search for better paying jobs has seen an absorption of these immigrants into the job markets in the states. Though a level of discrimination is occasionally realized when the immigrants get into the country with respect to the salaries offered to them on their arrival as compared to those offered to Americans on the same jobs, these discrepancies are corrected to convergence with time.

It is actually reported that immigrants are accorded similar treatments as the natives after about a decade and a half of their stay within the United States (Sari and Ker, 2011).

With an assumption of a fixed economy, this gradual assimilation of the foreigners into the job market has the implication of displacing Americans from their jobs or even instigating lowering of wages as they are normally willing to work for wages that are lower that what the natives demand.

This competition is a disadvantage to natives as employers would opt for the cheaper labor as long as the legal systems allows them the freedom to exercise market forces in the labor market. This costs the American people and as a result calls for government’s protection that includes elimination of the immigrants by deportation (Cair, n.d.).

Another cause for deportation is the increased responsibility on the government over immigrants. In the bid to fulfill its responsibility to its citizens, the government of the United States undertakes expenses that provide free services to people. Services such as “free education, employment opportunities and healthcare” for example form a significant percentage of the federal government funds.

Tolerance over immigrants who are at the same time not accounted for in the statistics and planning thus establishes strains on the government’s estimates and provisions. Adjustments onto the increased needs for services provided by the government also imply an increased level of expenditure by both federal and state governments as they offer services to these immigrants.

Though the United States is an economically stable territory, the federal budget is still yearly faced with deficits that can be avoided if the government was able to cut on some of its expenditure. Deportation of these individuals will provide an avenue for reducing the federal expenditure that is being channeled to these immigrants either directly or indirectly, knowingly or ignorantly (Porter, n.d.).

The Role of Legislation

Though legislations were formerly enacted in order to restrict immigration into the United States, further laws have again been enacted that have significantly been promoting illegal entry into the states. Acts of parliament have been witnessed that offers amnesty to a number of groups thus promoting illegal entry of people. As a result of the amnesties, the federal government has been forced to even advance assistance to illegal immigrants instead of taking actions against them.

The available set of amnesty is being blamed for the current estimate of about eight hundred thousand people moving into the country illegally on a yearly basis with the aim of eventually finding a final settlement. Such favors and leniencies are also blamed encouraging foreigners to illegally stream and settle in the United States.

Amnesty that was constitutionally offered in the year 1994 to individuals who had entered the country illegally and those whose entry validity had been revoked is one of the moves that are seen to be attracting more illegal immigrants.

There is a high chance that individuals will continue to illegally stream into the United States with the hope that they will one day be granted a similar amnesty into being citizens. There have also been a number of amnesties that have been based on a number of factors such as political interest, region of origin and even social factors like humanitarian crisis.

The NACARA amnesty that was granted in the year 1997 for instance allowed people such as “Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Eastern Europeans” (Porter, n.d., 67) to unrestrictedly settle in the United States.

Another amnesty that was granted with respect to people of Haiti for instance allowed all of them who had been staying in the United States and who had previously applied for citizenship to be legalized. Further legislations have since then been enacted so as to allow for not just the illegal immigration, but also the legalization of these immigrants into the American system. This means that the constraints that are associated with these immigrations are being promoted at the expense of the natives.


The leniency that has in the past been offered to illegal immigrants such as amnesty being offered to individuals as long as their relatives are citizens has also been promoting the illegal inflow with the immigrants hopping that they will one time be granted citizenship on the basis of their relatives being citizens of the United States.

Legislations that have been passed with respect to education of illegal immigrants and aliens such as the DREAM act that was approved by the senate in the year 2005 have also been promoting entry with the aim of gaining favor though the education system.

According to the legislation, there should be some moderation to these categories of students and further opportunities are offered on completion of their schooling that could lead to them being legalized as citizens of the United States. It can therefore be agreed upon that some attachments acquired in the United States can grant illegal immigrant legality into the citizenry of the states.

Such opportunities thus form the basis of immigrants who will take advantage of any such available attachment so as to gain legality in the country and exploit the opportunities which are available.

Consequently, it can also be agreed upon that a move to control illegal immigration in the United States should be strictly applied without considerations to such attachment.

The fact that a person is an illegal immigrant should be enough to call for prosecution of the individual without consideration of the existence of a relative in the states or even any acquired attachment such as education among others (Porter, n.d.).

The fact that the United States is itself facing strains in its budget and the responsibility that is put upon the government to make provisions for people under its territory also calls for measures to regulate the number of people who are moving to further strain the federal budget and expenditure.

Courts in the United States have for example reiterated that the federal government has the responsibility of making provision to the people of America. Interpretations of sections of the United States’ constitutions have also been made to cover any person living in the United States under this category to be provided for.

This means that once an individual has gained entry into the United States, he or she is entitled to all benefits that Native Americans are entitled to. Further interpretations of the same would mean that the federal government does not have a grip over its budget since its estimations are subject to unpredictable needs that arise from illegal immigration.

The same strain is as well registered in the government’s expenditures in two ways. The first impact is the continually budgeted expenditure due to increasing population inflated by immigrants. Similarly, significant level of immigration can cause an unnecessary strain in the budget that might call for reconsideration of the budget. The only solution to these is the total elimination of the illegal immigrations (Carabelli, n.d.).

Review of census of the American population has also been a clear indicator that there is a problem worth discussion with the issue of illegal entry into the united stated. According to the census of the year 1980, more than two million people were realized, in Columbia alone, as undocumented aliens. This also calls for measure to counter the crossing of American boarders (Passel & Woodrow, 2011).

Arguments against strict measures

There are however views that human beings deserves to be accorded rights and freedom whenever they are, whether citizens or illegal immigrants. Human rights activists have for instance called for proper treatments to illegal immigrants based on ethical values (Dwyer, 2004).


Though social responsibility may require the government to make provisions for illegal immigrants, the fact that they contravene the laws and get into the United States illegally calls for their prosecution. The loopholes of the laws that attract immigrants on the hope of gaining legality should also be sealed by taking strict measures over the issue.

Banning of illegal immigration will stand to benefit the US in a great way. Federal and state budgets will become more predictable and this makes it possible for better budgeting.

The solid way that remains is to discourage such immigration by offering strict measures like deportation of the immigrants contrary to their attaching hopes. This will reduce the number of immigrants and at the same time discourage further illegal immigration. I thus support the argument that even parents who are illegal immigrants should be deported to their home country even if their children are citizen of the US because they should follow the legal process.


Anderson, S. (2010). Immigration. California, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Cair, D. (n.d.). Economic costs of legal and illegal immigration. Cairco. Retrieved from:

Carabelli, M. (n.d.). Whose children are these? A rational approach to educating illegal- alien school children. International Social science Review. 84(3&4) p. 115-134.

Dwyer, J. (2004). Illegal immigrants, health care and social responsibility. Hastings Centre Report. 34 (5) pp. 34-41.

Passel, J & Woodrow, K. (2011). Geographic distribution of undocumented immigrants: estimated aliens counted in the 1980 census by states. IMR. 18(3) pp. 642-571.

Porter, L. (n.d.). Illegal immigrants should not receive social services. International Social science Review. 81 (1&2) pp. 66-72.

Rapid. (2008). US immigration history. Rapid Immigration. Retrieved from:

Sari, K & Ker, W. (2011). Economic impact of immigration. HBS. Retrieved from:

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