America...a melting pot, the world's gathering place, a nation of immigrants. If each American were to trace his or her ancestry, there would probably be few who would be far removed from immigrant roots.
A half century ago John F. Kennedy could call America "a nation of immigrants," and publish a book with that title: We remain a nation of immigrants today. Even if many of us did not have the courage or vision to uproot and move to America, many of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents made that difficult journey. Our diversity is what makes America unique and is a source of our fundamental strength and long term prospects.
Source: The Importance of Immigration
|Image Source: en.wikipedia.org|
|'Doctor's examination - stopping an emigrant suspected of defective
He will be detained for further examination...' ~Anonymous, 1902.
What is the connection of immigration to this day in history?
On February 5, 1917, in an effort to to control the composition of immigrant flow into the United States, the United States Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917, aka the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, overriding President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the previous week. This was a law restricting the immigration of so-called "undesirables" from other countries into the United States. Previously, only the Chinese had been excluded from admission to the country. In short,
Immigration Act of 1917 ("Asiatic Barred Zone Act"). Denies entry to immigrants from the "Asiatic Barred Zone"--much of eastern Asia and the Pacific Islands. It also sets a literacy requirement for immigrants over 16 and a head tax for entry into the country; it bars entry by "idiots," "feeble-minded persons," "epileptics," "insane persons," alcoholics, "professional beggars," all persons "mentally or physically defective," polygamists, and anarchists. Furthermore, the act instated literacy tests for all immigrants over the age of sixteen.
[Summary available of this act HERE.]
| 'Any country not owned by the U.S. adjacent to the continent of
along specified longitudes and latitudes were restricted from immigrating.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
|This political cartoon shows America's literacy test wall |
that blocks the entry of immigrants.
Image Source: Library of Congress
Asians first began to immigrate to the U.S. in the mid-19th century. Since then, they have undergone violent and unjust discrimination but have also overcome it. Today, Asian-Americans proudly live as U.S. citizens, with equal rights and equal contributions to the country.
Source: U. S. Immigration Asian American History Timeline
|Image Source: flickr.com|
U.S. Immigration Asian American History Timeline
The Importance of Immigration
Immigration act passed over Wilson's veto
The Lessons of the Barred Zone Act (Incorrect date in this article)
U.S. Immigration Legislation online