In response to William Bugg’s letter to the editor “‘Immigration built this nation,’ but that was done legally,” I would point out that the immigration system that many of our ancestors endured in the past was markedly different from the process in place today.

In fact, much of the legislation surrounding immigration was not about how to process immigrants who arrived “legally,” but rather about which groups to exclude from coming here. Our history is littered with discriminatory practices regarding immigration. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 explicitly forbade the immigration of Chinese laborers, many of whom built our nation’s early rail networks, among other things. The Immigration Act of 1924 set explicit quotas for immigration based on race and nationality, effectively curtailing most migrants from Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe. In the present day, the current administration has made it clear that immigrants from certain faiths and ethnic backgrounds are not welcome in the United States.

Put simply, for most of U.S. history up until the 1920s, the vast majority of immigrants coming to our nation’s shores were admitted without much “process” at all. If an immigrant arrived at a port of entry and passed a basic medical inspection, then they were (almost always) allowed to permanently settle in the U.S. The idea that past immigration was done “legally” fails to recognize the profound changes in immigration law that the 20th century brought.

I recognize that there is a debate about how to deal with current immigration issues, but let’s not inform our current debate by citing fictitious history with no basis in fact.

Camden Raynor

Middletown

(29) comments

seanjames

this leaves out one of the most egregious examples. everyone should google "Mexican Repatriation" and read about how great and fair our immigration laws have always been

BunnyLou

The key here is that they came to a point of entry, where vetted and released if they met certain criteria. Today’s person here illegally have done nothing of the sort.

gary4books

WRONG! They do come to the only entry point that will process them.

Dwasserba

A proud history of exclusion, discrimination and lack of process


mamlukman

One of my favorite US immigration laws is a gem from 1946. Yes, not 1846, 1946. It was unbelievably generous: it allowed 100 (one hundred) Indians and 100 (one hundred) Filipinos a year to emigrate to the US. Such generosity is worth noting.



Could it be (big shudder at this point) that US immigration laws are WRONG? Immoral? That those who keep bring up the point that a lot of immigrants are "illegal" would probably have made the same point about escaped slaves who fled to the North after the Red Scott decision. They were "illegal." Should be deported back to slavery. Right? Or--just maybe--we should change the law. Oh, that's right, we did. After a Civil War.

TINAE

Land of the free and home of the brave! Yea Right!

rikkitikkitavvi

Interesting take Camden. What was the population of the world in 1924? Can we agree with somewhere around 2.5 million? Give or take? What were the most recent discovers back then concerning transportation. It was a Brave New World. Wasn't it?

I'll guess the 2020 world population at around 300,000,000 Today. The world has gotten exponentially smaller from then to now. That may have some account to the way things have needed to change. Don't you think? Faster and faster transportation methods has increased the necessity for more stringent laws. But you can't see the trees for the Forest. Or you just don't want to.

jenniferbrannan

RTT, um, what?! Your numbers are so off base I can’t get past them to anything else you said. The population of NY was more than 2x your world estimate for that year.

Comment deleted.
Dwasserba

Flora. Fauna. Shrubs. Fun!

threecents

Give or take five or six decimal places, absolutely.

awteam2000

Rikki, The population of the WORLD was 2.5 million in 1924? Are you sure? The USA pop. in 1924 was 115 million. And the US pop. today is over 350 million? Am I miss understanding your comment? Today’s world population is estimated around 7.5 billion!

awteam2000

Accessibility to distant locations are much more convenient than they were in the past and at the same time controls over immigration are dramatically stronger. The major ports of entry into any country are through airports with the exception of bordered countries. Even if I drive to Toronto from Frederick, Md, I have to go through customs at the Canadian border. Illegal entry is when you bypass ‘ports of entry’ and that’s been on the decline for 20 years. Not following your logic.

rikkitikkitavvi

Our airports are stronger. Many that wouldn't be permitted in for various reasons get to our Southern border by whatever means they can. Perhaps by boat or plane. Docking or landing in the Southern Hemisphere for the journey North to our porous Southern border.

awteam2000

Rikki, airports are stronger then they were in 1924? So is the Internet. Which Airports In 1924 are you referring to that took international flights? You do know Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic wasn’t until 1927? There was little to none international travel by air to the USA in 1924. Right?







Do you have a southern border complex? Why don’t you just simply say, “ Brown people south of the border aren’t welcome”?

rikkitikkitavvi

Yes aw, I know. My meaning got LIT. Our airports are much stronger because of 2001. This is why fewer illegals attempt entry that way. Therefore they enter the latin American countries first THEN travel by land to our Southern border in an attempt to enter illegally there. Build the wall.

awteam2000

Rikki you are confusing airport security and customs/immigration processing.

mamlukman

Hey everyone! We now live in a fact-free world! Don't you know that? Statistics (accurate ones, anyway) are for wimps. Long live Fantasyland!

seanjames

2.5 million ahahahhahaha. trump supporters in a nutshell

gary4books

Google your numbers. Please.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population


DickD

Excellent LTE, Camden.

Rick Blatchford

Camden puts a lot of words on paper in an attempt to arouse emotion, but fails to justify turning a blind eye to existing laws. Most of us are attempting to live in today's world and trying hard to learn from the past - not to repeat the mistakes of the past. [wink]

DickD

And you support making mistakes now, Rick? You and everyone else knows that putting children in cages, not having sufficient law judges is bad. Most churches are against it, do you go to church? Do you believe in loving your neighbors. It should never be about hate, as Trump and most Republicans try to make it.

rikkitikkitavvi

Dick, I guess the liberal mods/liberalville residents didn't appreciate my questions to you. Poof!

threecents

I think his point is that we are repeating the mistakes of the past - discriminating against minorities trying to immigrate - whether Chinese in the 1920s, Jews in the 1930s, or Latin Americans now. Laws were used to prevent their immigration in each case.

KellyAlzan

Rick, kinda like your write up the other week that blew up in your face? Interesting that since I called you out on being RB, you been posting under your real name! LOL

KellyAlzan

Rick, I just ran your name on the MD Real Eatate records website. You don't own any property in the county?

bnick467

Very well written, and a very valid point. Historically this country has not had a problem with immigration and made it very easy, but only for white immigrants. As with the Chinese Exclusion act, proponents of immigration today are only concerned with keeping brown people out. They do not target the illegal immigrants from western Europe because they do not appear "different".

Dwasserba

[thumbup]bnick

gary4books

At one time Irish were drawn like and compared to apes.

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