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Roger White

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Roger White

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Roger White

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Roger White

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Migration and International Trade

The US Experience Since 1945

Roger White

This unique book synthesizes and extends the immigrant–trade literature and provides comprehensive coverage of this timely and important topic. In that vein, the author contributes to the understanding of the relationship between immigration and trade and sheds light on a noteworthy aspect of globalization that both confronts policymakers with challenges and offers the potential to overcome them.
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Roger White

The author examines the relationships between immigration policy, observed immigration patterns, and cultural differences between the United States and immigrants’ source countries. The entirety of U.S. immigration history (1607-present) is reviewed through a recounting of related legislative acts and by examining data on immigrant inflows and cross-societal cultural distances.
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A legacy of discrimination

Becoming America

Roger White

We introduce our topic and provide an overview of the book. We posit a clear bias in U.S. immigration policy that favored entry from Europe and, notably, from Northern and Western European countries until the enactment of the Hart-Celler Act in 1968 (i.e., the Immigration Act of 1965). Only in recent decades have there been a significant increase in the number of annual immigrant arrivals and a considerable shift in the source countries and regions of immigrant arrivals to the U.S. towards Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean, and, to a lesser extent, Africa. We contend that many recent immigrant arrivals to the U.S. have entered a country that is quite culturally dissimilar from their countries of origin. However, through acculturation there has been a movement of U.S. culture away from that of the more traditional European immigrant source countries and towards the cultures of the more recent arrivals’ home countries.

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Roger White

We review U.S. immigration history during the period from 1607 through 1874. During these years, few laws restricted immigration, but there were restrictions on who could become a citizen. We argue that America’s colonial ties to Britain and restrictions on naturalization encouraged emigration from Northern and Western European countries and discouraged emigration from other locales. The 1790 U.S. Census supports this assertion. In that year, more than 80 percent of the U.S. population (and 97.8 percent of the free population) were either immigrants from Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, or France or descendants of someone from one of these countries. We contend that the ancestral mix of the Colonial population fostered a cultural transfer from Northern and Western Europe to the American colonies. Further contributing to this transfer is that 88.5 percent of all immigrant arrivals between 1820 and 1874 were also from Northern or Western Europe.

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Roger White

We review U.S. immigration history during the 1875–1920 period, when federal legislation imposed explicit qualitative restrictions on immigration. The Page Act of 1875 prohibited the entry of forced laborers, Asian women who might engage in prostitution, and convicted criminals. The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) halted Chinese immigration to the U.S. for ten years and prohibited Chinese residents of the U.S. from becoming citizens. In 1892, the Geary Act extended the ban for an additional decade, and required all Chinese living in the U.S. to carry permits. As expiration of the Geary Act neared, the Scott Act was passed, further extending the ban. Two years later, the ban on Chinese immigration to the U.S. was made permanent. Additional legislation also limited immigration, with arrivals from Northern and Western Europe continuing to receive preferential treatment. Even so, during this period, we see large numbers of immigrants arrive from Southern and Eastern Europe.

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Roger White

We review U.S. immigration history during the period from 1921 through 1967. The Emergency Quota Act (1921) and the Johnson-Reed Act (1924) established and revised the National Origins Quota System, augmenting existing qualitative restrictions on immigration with quantitative restrictions. This greatly reduced immigrant inflows, including arrivals from Southern and Eastern Europe, while affording a large percentage of the quota allocation to Northern and Western Europe. The McCarran-Walter Act (1952) eliminated race as a barrier to immigration and citizenship, allowed immediate relatives of citizens to enter without numerical restriction, and revised the National Origins Formula. Even so, quota limits and the bias favoring immigration from Northern and Western Europe remained in place. During this period, the annual average inflow of 203,395 immigrants was markedly smaller than the average inflow of 537,945 witnessed during the 1885-1920 period, and much closer to the average annual inflow of 161,390 observed between 1820 and 1884.