History of US Immigration
There have been 4 different periods of history where US Immigration has spiked. The Colonial Period, the Mid 19th Century, Turn of the 12th Century and Post 1965. Every one of these periods in history has brought to the United States very distinctive national groups, different ethnicities, and different races. In the 17th century there were about 175,000 Englishmen who migrated to what was called then as Colonial America. That was just the start; in the 17th and 18th centuries more than half of the European immigrants that came over were here as indentured servants (practice of contracting work for a certain number of time, usually anywhere from 3 to 7 years).
In the middle of the 19th century there was an influx of immigrants from the northern part of Europe, in the 20th century immigrants came from Southern and Eastern Europe and in post 1965 there were mostly from Latin America and Asia. Experts on American history estimate that about 400,000 immigrants had crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the 17th and 18th centuries. There was a law called the 1790 Act or the Naturalization Act of 1790, provided that the United States had to follow the very first set of rules that would provide natural citizenship to the United States.
In 1790 the act applied to white people, in 1860 is extended to African Americans and in the 1950's it applied to Asians. Back in the 1800's there were less than 8,000 people a year that came over to the United States, some of these immigrants included French refugees from the slave revolt in Haiti. In the years from 1836 to 1914, there were over 30 millions Europeans that came over to the US. Back then when people came over on boats, there was a high death rate from transatlantic travel. By the year 1875, the very first Immigration Law was passed.
A spike in European Immigration started in 1907 where an estimated 1,285,349 people came into the country. By 1910 there were 13.5 millions immigrants residing in the United States. With so many people coming over the US Government introduced the Emergency Quota Act in 1921. This Act set to restrict immigrants from coming over, there were two features of this act, one was the numerical amounts of immigrants that the US would allow and the implementation of the use of a quota system that was designed for establishing those limits for immigration.
Immigration nearly doubled from 1965 to 1970 and then again from 1970 to 1990. George W Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990, which allowed the increase of legal migration to the United States. Bill Clinton appointed the US Commission of Immigration Reform and this recommended reducing legal immigration to only 800,000 people a year to 550,000 a year. Immigrants are welcome in the United Stated but only when they are coming in legally. American has always been known as the Melting Pot and will continue to be for many years to come.