Dear Friends of Lifa:
Denizens of the left, who reflexively oppose any rational suggestion to protect our country and our citizens from illegal undesirable aliens, often parrot their favorite hoary saw that “We are a nation of immigrants.”
Our answer is “No, we are a nation of laws,” all laws, including immigration laws. Where did these laws originate?
Immigration has been a foundational fact of American life since the earliest Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English settlements 4 hundred years ago. The Know Nothing party, a reaction to the 1850s’ flood of Irish and German immigrants, was the first meaningful opposition to unrestricted immigration.
That movement was swept aside in the tumult of the Civil War, but the issue continued to demand attention as the flood of European immigrants swelled to a tsunami, drawing millions of people from across Europe: north, central, and south.
This generated widespread unease that immigrants and their cultures would overwhelm the United States. When several states attempted to establish immigration laws of their own, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1875 the immigration laws was solely within federal jurisdiction, as it is today.
Other measures reflected the public’s growing anxiety: the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 barred Chinese immigration; the Immigration Act of 1891 created a Commissioner of Immigration; Congress added a literacy requirement in 1917, the Emergency Quota Act in 1921, and finally the Immigration Act of 1924, which replaced and incorporated all the previous legislation.
This last act effectively codified immigration law and requirements and minimized the numbers of immigrants who could be admitted. Events and attitudes that built up since before the Civil War brought about a clear need to control immigration.
After World War One over one million unemployed veterans came home, the world influenza pandemic killed half a million Americans, and the country suffered through a brief yet devastating depression in 1920-21. This created the public and political mood to enact the Immigration Act of 1924.
These laws served the United States well, through the Great Depression, WWII, the postwar economic boom and into the Vietnam era, when the laws were revised under President Johnson. Today’s immigration crisis is a direct result of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that contravened 1924’s rational, considered federal legislation and immigration laws.
Yes, we do need some changes in the law to deal with the uncontrolled and dangerous situation at our borders, but most importantly we need to enforce the laws of the United States of America that already exist.
Legal Immigrants for America
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Legal Immigrants For America (LIFA) is a nationwide 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
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