Essay on Guarding the Golden Door

1551 WordsNov 27, 20117 Pages
American immigration history is the story of bonded, free, and enslaved migrant labor. Immigration to a settler society advances resource extraction and economic development. Extracting agricultural products and natural resources from land can Require forced labor. Over the last 30 years the United States has been turning once again into a nation of immigrants. Roger Daniels is especially sensitive to the role of race and ethnicity in shaping American immigration policy. Daniel provides an expert reexamination of American immigration policy and immigrant history. Daniels book builds upon his lifetime of work in American immigration and Asian American history. He notes that Americans have a dualistic attitude. On one part reveling in the…show more content…
America to the rest of the world was a place of liberty, freedom and a land of opportunities. Coming into this beautiful land of America, the gate way and the golden door was Ellis Island. Daniels's work is particularly striking when detailing the story of Asian immigration to the United States. For example, in the 19th century Chinese immigrants were nearly entirely male; it was not until after World War II that large numbers of Chinese women were admitted, many as war brides. The book is a survey written in two parts providing a chronological account of immigration policy, law, and politics in the American Century. Part 1, “The Golden Door Opens and Closes, 1882–1965,” has seven chapters. Part 2, “Changing Patterns in a Changing World,” has five chapters and deals with 1965–2000. An epilogue speculates on the direction of immigration policy after 2001.Daniels’s book deals primarily in immigration history and legislation; public policy; and, to a smaller extent, political and institutional history. I credit Daniels’s book in that it puts in proper perspective changes enacted to immigration law during the McCarthy era. Daniels critiques liberal historians for failing to recognize advances towards race neutrality in laws affecting migrants passed at that time. In particular, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 “helped lay the demographic basis for the multiculturalism that emerged in the United States at the end of the
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