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Immigration in the United States Essay

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2021

Immigration Restriction League Outlines and Congressional Testimony about Admitting Jewish Refugee Children in 1939

The first document is the declaration of the Immigration Restriction League’s position. It was an organization that has focused on issues related to migration. Most of the ideas suggested in the outline are incredibly questionable, but some suggestions are reasonable. For instance, possession of money is a crucial factor that should be monitored because it would help to ensure that individuals do not have issues with housing and may find jobs (Statement of the Immigration Restriction League, 1894, para. 5).

Moreover, it would help to prevent crimes and offensive behavior. On the other hand, the way they describe some of the immigrants is unacceptable. The second piece is focused on the perspective of the Congress on the immigration of young Jewish refugees. It is suggested that they should be accepted because it will not damage the economy in the long-term, and is an ethical decision. However, it was hard to reach a consensus on this subject matter because some policymakers believed that such aspects as religion also should not be overlooked, and could affect the process of immigration (Wagner-Rogers refugee bill backed at Hearing, 1939, para. 7).

It is possible to state that there is a similarity between these two works because both of them suggest that particular limitations must be introduced. It is imperative to mention that they are focused on different age groups, and individuals that are younger than sixteen would not have to face such barriers as literacy tests when moving to the U.S. The fact that they could be denied entry because of particular ratios and their religion is quite problematic. Overall, the analysis of these pieces suggests that the treatment of immigrants varied depending on the circumstances.

Sacco-Vanzetti case and Samuel Morse and His Anti-Immigrant Bias

The first text highlights the Sacco-Vanzetti case and an incident that has led to many discussions and has been incredibly controversial. It is quite evident that both of them did not want to be deported, and were satisfied with their lives in the United States. However, the primary issue is that some believed that they were unfairly judged, and their guilt has not been proven based on the available evidence (Simkin, 2014, para. 4).

The fact that an innocent individual has been punished is worrying and indicates that the judicial system had to be reformed because it was extremely unfair towards non-natives. The second work devotes enormous attention to the history of nativism, and its role in the U.S. It is necessary to mention that the movement has been incredibly successful, and its activities have led to the introduction of numerous policies (Anti-immigrant and anti-catholic feeling in America, n.d. para. 13).

Most of them were quite reasonable, but it became a problem when hatred towards immigrants was enormous. It is possible to state that a particular connection between these two readings is present. First of all, it can be seen that prejudice was quite common at that time. The issue became especially problematic when the United Legal system was involved because there was enormous pressure from both sides.

Unfair decisions could affect the relationships with other countries and damage the economy in the long-term. The second reading highlights the other perspective on this subject matter. Many individuals were willing to offer their support and believed that such aspects as nationality should not affect court rulings. Their views and beliefs were not liked by many, but they still had a right to have a fair trial, and many confessions were dismissed.

T.R. and the Hyphenates and Gottfried Duden and the German Immigrants to Missouri

The first text is focused on Theodore Roosevelt’s view of hyphenated Americans. The term was commonly used to describe those who were not born on the territory of the country and were loyal to their origins. The president believed that they are an enormous threat in the U.S. that should not be overlooked (Roosevelt bars the hyphenated, 1915, p. 1). He thought that it could damage the nation in the long-term, and would lead to severe consequences.

It is possible to argue with this perspective, but such claims are quite reasonable. The safety of the country could be at risk if a significant percentage of citizens are not worried about others and the future of the nation. On the other hand, the second piece devotes attention to the perspective of a Prussian lawyer that has visited the U.S. to determine possible issues that immigrants may have to deal with during the process. However, his experience has been quite pleasant, and he recommends Germans to move to America because the quality of life is outstanding, and access to valuable resources is also critical (Gottfried Duden recommends immigrating to Missouri, n.d., para. 8).

The difference between these texts is that the second one does not devote enough attention to Americanization. Gottfried Duden does not provide Germans with suggestions on how their lifestyle should be modified to fit in the country and avoid problems that may occur. Therefore, it could be viewed as an enormous issue because he did not recognize that immigrants were not liked most of the time. Moreover, they could deal with numerous challenges if they were not willing to accept new traditions and respect various cultures.

Olaudah Equiano and Marial Boat People

The first reading is about Olaudah Equiano, an individual that has immigrated to the United States as the result of slavery, and has provided crucial information regarding his experience. Also, he has explained some of the issues he had to deal with during the process. The text is influential and is frequently studied. The article by Ojito (2005) focuses on Mariel refugees and the situation that has occurred because of the lack of understanding.

It is possible to state that the situation was quite similar because they were punished due to several policies. It is suggested that some of the policies were poorly developed, and such methods as indefinite detention could be used (Ojito, 2005, para. 11). Therefore, they were under constant fear, and even a small offense could lead to severe consequences. Another aspect that should be highlighted is that many people were incredibly racist and discriminated against the immigrants in both cases based on their color of skin. Moreover, stereotypes were quite common, and it has complicated the situation. The public’s views on immigration were mostly negative.

The treatment of slaves was incredibly problematic, and their needs such as communication were not considered (Equiano, 2001, p. 93). On the other hand, the difference is that Mariel refugees could enjoy most of the benefits of freedom. They were not as restricted and did not think about suicide most of the time. Overall, the fact that the rights of these individuals were recognized in both situations is crucial. However, it is not an easy task to forget many years of oppression and mistreatment because it has led to incredibly unpleasant experiences, and it is always going to be a critical part of history.

American immigration

It is imperative to mention that there is an enormous difference between the expectations that one has, and an experience of immigration because of various factors. It is reasonable to review and combine some of the texts on this subject matter to get a better understanding of this topic and explain some of the most important factors. The piece by Whyte (1847) is critical because it is focused on the traveling aspect of immigration.

The author describes the experience as quite dangerous because the ships were overcrowded and other issues. The biggest problem was the fact that many individuals were incredibly ill, and necessary measures were not taken to ensure the safety of passengers. Problems with food and water supplies were also quite common. It was quite evident that ship owners did not care about the future of those people, and could break the laws because of insufficient monitoring.

Mortality rates were incredibly high, and such an experience could be traumatizing. The author states that close to twenty thousand passengers died at the end of the journey (Whyte, 1847, p. 99). Nevertheless, it is paramount to note that they were aware of possible dangers, but were willing to risk their lives to migrate to another country.

The testimony of William Marley is an incredibly valuable source because an unusual perspective on the process of immigration is provided. It is quite evident that people would agree to almost any conditions to get an opportunity to move to America. It is suggested that the process was not as dangerous for individuals that served under a contract because they were offered stable jobs and had no problems with housing. One of the interesting aspects is that they have agreed to the conditions and signed the contracts, but tried to escape nevertheless because they desired freedom (The Unfortunate, n.d., p. 2).

The problem is that most individuals decide to migrate without any plans, and they are not aware of differences in cultures. The process is much easier for those who speak English because they can communicate and build valuable relationships with others. However, some of them are not skilled and lack the education that would allow them to find well-paying jobs. One of the aspects that should not be overlooked is that many people think that their lives would be much better, and they would not have to return. However, it is not true, and some have to go back to their country because of particular circumstances.

It is quite evident that the situation has changed over the years. However, many immigrants had to suffer from racism and discrimination during the process of employment, and such incidents happen even nowadays. Therefore, it may not be an easy task to find a stable and well-paying job. Moreover, many people came with limited funds and had to live in terrible conditions. The expectations of most immigrants were enormous because the benefits of life in America were frequently promoted. However, they did not recognize that success cannot be achieved without hard work, and they did not expect such conditions. Moreover, government regulations and other difficulties may be incredibly problematic and exhausting for an individual.

On the other hand, some people have experienced mostly positive aspects of immigration. For instance, Gottfried Duden has moved to the United States with enormous amounts of money. He did not have to work and could afford servants that would help with all the tasks. He could devote time to such activities as exploration and reading, and it was much easier to get used to the culture when he was not pressured (Gottfried Duden recommends immigrating to Missouri, n.d., para. 1). Therefore, it is possible to state that some of the recommendations were not reasonable, and could not be used by most individuals. The primary reason for immigration was the lack of resources and political instability. However, it was quite hard for people with different financial statuses, and this aspect was not acknowledged.

The experience of Olaudah Equiano was also different because he was regarded as a slave and almost had no control over the situation, but his confession also needs to be considered. The text is incredibly important because it highlights the prominence of discrimination and unfair treatment at that time. The situation was complicated because policymakers could not reach a consensus on this subject matter (Dinnerstein, Nichols, & Reimers, 2010, p. 33).

People of color suffered from cruelty, and some of the methods used by slave-masters were inhumane and cruel (Equiano, 2001, p. 92). Therefore, such experiences could lead to long-term physical and psychological damage and could affect the way America was perceived by foreigners. Illegal immigration is especially problematic because it complicates the process of employment, and an individual has to be careful when making particular decisions. One should be aware that such practice is illegal, and he or she may have to deal with penalties. Overall, it is possible to state that social status and education had an enormous impact on the experience of immigrants.


Anti-immigrant and anti-catholic feeling in America. (n.d.). Web.

Dinnerstein, L., Nichols, R. L., & Reimers, D. M. (2010). Natives and strangers: A history of ethnic Americans (5th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Equiano, O. (2001). . Web.

. (n.d.). Web.

Ojito, M. (2005). . The New York Times. Web.

Roosevelt bars the hyphenated. (1915). Web.

Simkin, J. (2014). . Web.

Statement of the Immigration Restriction League (1894). Web.

. (n.d.). Web.

(1939). Web.

Whyte, R. (1847). . Web.

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