Civil Liberties: Immigration To The United States

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The question of civil rights and civil liberties have always been a concern when discussing immigration to the United States. People often come to the United States looking for protection, safety and equality under the law. Our country claims to be founded on the virtue that “all men are created equal” and therefore all should be treated equally under the law. But there of course have been inconsistencies between what we do and what we say as far as treating all people equally, this often applies to the treatment of immigrants as issues of race, ethnicity, culture, and religion are always tied. The current U.S Immigration system has come a long way in regards to protecting equality and guaranteeing civil rights to all people. The Immigration …show more content…

The literacy tests required anyone over the age of 16 to “demonstrate reading comprehension in any language” (office of the historian). The test was only given to enable the government to deny people they did not want in the country. The other law which the Immigration Act of 1924 upheld was the ‘asiatic barred zone’. This law prevented anyone from most of Asia and the Pacific Islands from coming to America. It did not include japan or China, but people from these areas were already banned from immigrating to the United States. In addition to these rules the Immigration Act of 1924 instilled a stricter quota system that determined the number of migrants allowed into the United States from each country in the Eastern Hemisphere. The Western Hemisphere was exempt from the quota system. The new quota system allowed only “two percent of the foreign-born population” (office of the historian). It also made changes to the way in which quotas were calculated. The quota calculation would now be based on “the origins of the U.S. population, including natural-born citizens” rather than the number of people born outside of the U.S. (office of the historian). The result of these new restrictions and methods of …show more content…

This new act made under president Lyndon B. Johnson made drastic changes to the United States immigration system that are still prevalent in the current immigration system as well as the diverse population of the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 worked to eliminate the discriminatory practices of previous immigration laws by getting rid of the system that focused on unfair quotas. The new system focused heavily on the reunification of families and on bringing skilled workers into the United States. This change to the immigration system was made because president Johnson, along with many others, “recognized existing immigration law, and in particular natural origin quotas created many decades before on racist grounds, as inconsistent with civil rights and racial justice” ( These changes allowed the United States immigration policy to be much better fit to the American promise of equality. America could no longer legally deny people the right to immigrate to America based on their race or country of origin. This change in immigration policy came in line with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in America. The United States government and its people acknowledged that if they were going to see all people as equal at home then they had to accept all people as equal around the world and grant all human beings the same equal rights and opportunities. Vice President

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