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10 Historic Facts About U.S. Immigration

The United States of America is a nation of immigrants, for immigrants. Following are 10 historic facts about the transformation of this country.

1. The first immigrants were not European settlers seeking religious freedom. Indigenous people are believed to have crossed the Bering Strait ice bridge more than 12,000 years ago.

2. Immigration law dates back to the Naturalization Act of 1790, but a substantial number of foreigners did not qualify due to their social status.

3. The five-year minimum residency requirement for naturalization was determined in 1790, and it is the same one that is in effect today. At one point, this requirement was elevated to 14 years before coming back down to the original five years.

4. The significant Mexican and Asian immigration of the 21st century was first experienced in 1840.

5. Modern immigrants overwhelmingly work with temporary worker visas and pay taxes without being allowed to enjoy government benefits. This is a practice that dates back to the 1850s, when Chinese laborers were poorly paid railroad workers who built the first major transportation infrastructure of the United States.

6. Between 1880 and 1930, 25 million immigrants arrived in the United States from Western and Eastern Europe. These immigrants, who mostly worked in factories, would lift the American economy until it became the most powerful in the world.

7. Reverse immigration is a socioeconomic phenomenon that was first experienced during the Great Depression in the late 1920s. It was once again experienced from 2008 until about 2013 due the Global Financial Crisis and the Great Recession.

8. The Cold War greatly shaped American immigration policy. When refugees escape major conflicts to arrive in the U.S., admission criteria tightened for all immigrants in general.

9. The modern visa system is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which did away with racial quotas.

10. Illegal immigration across the southern border with Mexico is rather small when compared to the number of immigrants who use legal ports of entry.

Learn more about San Diego immigration law today by calling (858) 874-0711. We provide sound legal advice to help people legally immigrate to the United States. Call us today and we will answer all of your questions.

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