Examining the Anti-Immigration Policies Essay

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Examining the Anti-Immigration Policies

United States immigration policies are designed as deterrents to immigration into the United States. Frankly, their message has always been "Stay out!" Recently, California policies have taken a harsher stab at immigration, namely Mexican immigrants that constitute the largest Latin American minority in the United States. This paper intends to examine these policies, the effects they have had on the Mexican population in California, and the connection they have to the anti-immigrant sentiment felt throughout the country.

First, though, looking closely at anti-immigrant sentiment in America and policies that have been enacted in the past by the U.S. are necessary to the understanding of the
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During World War II, the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement in which a massive number of Mexicans would be transported to America as temporary workers in agriculture because of the anticipated worker shortage created by the war. (6) Of all the labor used in production throughout the first half of the century, 75 percent is believed to be Mexican. (7) It is obvious then that since the beginning of the century, the United States has been a source of employment for Mexicans out of work and it is this attitude which has created the incentive for Mexican migration during the latter half of the century.

Anti-immigrant sentiments felt in America have much to do with this attitude. The fact is that most Mexicans immigrate to this country in search of employment and of a better life for their children, as do most other immigrants into the U.S . This is seen as an economic threat by many Americans because of the large number of Mexicans residing in the United States: 62 percent of the entire Hispanic population of America as of 1988.(8)

California, which is home to the largest Mexican population in the U.S., has vigorously expresses its discontent with the current status of immigration. Pete Wilson, governor of California and an anti-immigrant proponent, claims that the large numbers of immigrants settling in California are reeking havoc on its economy. According to him, Los Angeles alone is inhabited by
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