Why Do Migrants Face Obstacles?

Why Do Migrants Face
Key Issue #3
• OLD obstacles:
– Long, and expensive passage over land or by sea
– Cramped and unsanitary conditions endured by
19th century immigrants
• NEW obstacles:
– Gaining permission to a new country
– Face hostile attitudes of citizens once they have
entered the new country
Quota Act of 1921/National Origins
Act of 1924
• Quota Act of 1921/National Origins Act of 1924:
– Established maximum limits on the number of people
who could immigrate to the United States during a 1
year period
– For each country that had native-born persons already
living in the United States, 2 % of their number (1910
census) could immigrate each year
– Limited Eastern Hemisphere to 150,000 per year,
virtually all of whom had to be from Europe
– Continued until 1960s without modifications
Immigration of 1965
• Immigration Act of 1965
– Eliminated quotas for individual countries and placed
quotas on hemispheres
– 170,000 from Eastern Hemisphere, 120,000 from
Western Hemisphere
• 1978 Numbers:
– hemisphere quota replaced by global quota of
290,000, including a maximum of 20,000 per country
– Currently 620,000 global quota, no more than 7%
from one country
Current Laws
• Current Laws:
– Permits 480,000 family-sponsored immigrants
– 140,000 employment-related immigrants
– ¾ of the immigrants admitted to reunify families,
primarily spouses or unmarried children of people
already living in the United States
– Skilled workers and expectionally talented
professionals receive most of the remaining 1.4 of the
– Others admitted by lottery under a diversity category
to people from countries that historically sent few
Current of Laws
– Does not apply to refugees
– Spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens are
admitted without limit
– Many well-educated Asians enter the U.S. under
the skilled worker preference
• Then bring in family under the family reunification act
Brain Drain
• Brain Drain: large-scale emigration by talented
– Well-educated young people leave their native
country for better job and teaching opportunities
in North America and Europe
Temporary Migration For Work
• Guest Workers: citizens of poor countries who
obtain jobs in Western Europe and the Middle
– Take low status and low skilled jobs
– Provide essential services such as driving buses,
collecting garbage repairing streets and washing
– Send money back home; stimulate home economy
Time-Contract Workers
• Time-Contract Workers: recruited for fixed
periods of time to work in mines or on
plantations, many settled in their new country
Migrant vs Refugee
• Migrant vs Refugee
– United States, Canada and Western Europe treat
refugees and migrants very differently
– Migrants: not admitted unless they possess
special skills or have a close relative already there’
– Refugees: receive special treatment
• Cuba:
– Political refugees since 1959 revolution that brought
Communist government of Fidel Castro to power
– Settled in Florida, become prominent in politics and
– 1980: Castro allowed political prisoners, criminals and
mental patients to leave Cuba; 125,000 left for United
States for political asylum
– Processed in Key West and transferred to camps
– Sponsors were expected to provide food and shelter
– Many lived in Orange Bowl until start of football
season and then transferred to army tents under I-95
• Haiti:
– Sailed to U.S. to flee “PAPA DOC and BABY DOC’s”
– U.S. drew lines differently, Castro was an ally of
Soviet Union
– U.S. officials claimed Haitians migrated for
economic advancement, not political refugee
– Haitians sue government and govt admits Haitians
• Vietnam:
– Fled South Vietnam after the North captures Saigon
– Some were able to leave on U.S. helicopters to escape
capture form the North
– Others left on boats and drifted to China and Laos
– Some drifted out to sea to find U.S. Naval ships
• Once aboard ships could claim refugee status for the United
– Another surge left in the 1980s and headed for
Maylaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand
U.S. Attitudes toward Immigrants
• Americans always regarded new arrivals with
suspicion but tempered their dislike during the
19th century, helped build and expand the
frontier of the United States
• Opposition increased when the majority of
immigrants ceased to come from Northern and
Western Europe
– German and Irish faced harsh prejudice from so-called
“Native Americans”
– Italians , Russians, Poles and other Southern and
Eastern Europeans who came in the 1900s faced much
more hostility
U.S. Attitudes toward Immigrants
• 1911 study reflected these ideas towards
– Racially inferior
– “inclined toward to violent crime”
– Resisted assimilation
– “drove old-stock citizens out of some lines of
U.S. Attitudes toward Immigrants
• More Recent:
– California citizens and other states have voted to
deny undocumented immigrants to most public
services, schools, day-care centers, and health
care services
– Difficult to enforce: reflects the unwillingness on
the part of many Americans to help out needy
Guest Work in Europe
• Guest worker in Europe:
Poor social conditions
Young man who arrives in the city alone
Little money for food, housing, or entertainment
Primary job is to send as much money as possible
Lead a lonely life
Unfamiliar language and cultural activities
Spend free time at local railway stations
Disliked by many Western Europeans and oppose
government programs to improve their living conditions
– Political parties are gaining support that support
restrictions on immigrants in may European countries
Guest Worker in Middle East
• Guest Worker In Middle East:
– Fear that increasing number will spark political
unrest and abandonment of traditional Islamic
– Force migrants to return home if they wish to
marry and prevent them from returning with
wives and children
• Anti-immigrants Politicians:
– “if all the immigrants were thrown out of the
country, then the unemployment rate would drop,
and if all the immigrants were cut off from public
programs , then taxes would drop”
– Little scientific basis and have racist overtones
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