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albaby wrote: Well, to be technical, this depends a great deal on what part of the past you're talking about. That certainly wasn't true for the first century of America. During the time of the Founders, the frontier and Manifest Destiny, you didn't have to meet any of the foregoing to get into the country. All you had to do was show up. It wasn't until the late 19th Century that the first restrictions on immigration were imposed. Until then, America was a land that welcomed anyone at all. There's a reason why the engraving on the Statue of Liberty [given to the U.S. in 1886] reads the way it does.

Surely you don't think that America should have no immigration laws.

The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act (enacted May 26, 1924), was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the United States in 1890, down from the 3% cap set by the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, according to the Census of 1890. It superseded the 1921 Emergency Quota Act. The law was aimed at further restricting the Southern and Eastern Europeans, among them Jews who had migrated in large numbers since the 1890s to escape persecution in Poland and Russia, as well as prohibiting the immigration of Middle Easterners, East Asians, and Indians. According to the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian the purpose of the act was "to preserve the ideal of American homogeneity". Congressional opposition was minimal. Source: Wiki

The practical reality is that every nation has immigration laws--except maybe those countries where no one wants to live, anyway. It's only natural that the most successful country on the planet would eventually need to restrict the inflow of foreign born human beings lest we not be the United States of America anymore but merely just another piece of geography housing a bunch of people all speaking different languages.
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