Known for several other names such as the Asian Exclusion Act, National Origins Act, or Johnson-Reed Act, the Immigration Act of 1924 prohibited and, thereby, limited the number of immigrants coming into the United States, most especially immigrants from Asia. The Act included further the foreign-born wives as well as U. S. citizens whose ancestral roots are of Chinese descent. It also created a ceiling for immigrants flocking in from the Eastern Hemisphere of the globe (Weissbrodt & Danielson, 2005). The Immigration Act of 1924 served as a reinforcing tool for the Emergency Quota Act of 1921.
As the latter was primarily conceived as a national quota for immigrants that sought to limit the yearly amount of immigrating “aliens” into American territory, the former Act superseded the declarations set forth in the Emergency Quota Act of 1921. By limiting the number of immigrants to not more than 3% of the population of immigrants already in America by 1910, the latter Act fixed the upper limit of the quantity of immigrants in any year at around 357,000. Because of the Immigration Act of 1924, the maximum number of immigrants in any year was reduced to around 154,000.
Further, several legal cases were brought into the attention of the Supreme Court of the United States. One example is the case of Chang Chan et al. v. John D. Nagle wherein the Supreme Court ruled that Chinese wives of American citizens cannot enter nor are they entitled to enter America (Alba & Nee, 2005). A number of the law’s staunch proponents were seen to be driven by the ideas of Madison Grant in his 1916 book The Passing of the Great Race. Most of Grant’s ideas sought to bring forth the notion that the founding Northern European races were the superior races thereby highlighting a eugenicist approach and the theory of racial hygiene.
These immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere and Asia were believed to belong to an “undesirable” race (Gardner, 2005). However, the primary concern of the champions of the law, as they argued, was the advocacy of an ethnic status quo and the relative consequences of an increasing number of immigrants in terms of the competition among foreign and local workers in the United States. Another major issue raised by the implementation of the Immigration Act of 1924 was the refusal of many Jews and a number of refugees seeking shelter in America during the 1930s and 1940s.
As the law created a stretch of time for people to wait whose names were waitlisted for about four or five years, many Jews who wanted to immigrate to America were trapped desperately in Europe as the Nazis were purging Germany of the remaining Jews. Why the U. S. should accept refugees The United States is essentially a democratic country, led by principles that seek to promote equality to all men even in the face of racial, political, or financial differences that appear to set them oceans apart.
As these differences define the status of men in no way other than socially construed standards, there remains the basic principle that every man is an equal of his own, or that each human being is, at the most essential level, not intrinsically superior nor inferior to other human beings. As a nation upholding democratic principles, the United States should nevertheless accept refugees, especially during dire circumstances. Moreover, America has been predominantly a nation of citizens whose descendants can be traced to immigrants themselves.
The discrimination in immigration apparently closes the historical fact of America’s evolution both as a society and as a growing nation of mixed races. By narrowing down the “funnel” in which “outside” races channel themselves through, America appears to attempt at keeping within its borders a homogenous race of modern Americans. Yet this act of limiting has it’s relative consequences. As America grows all the more in its economic status, the internal machineries that sustain its expansion require employment by a huge margin to that of its past labor force.
This requires hiring employees by a huge number. Although America may be able to meet and provide the needed number of employees to fill “employment spaces”, the special skills required in handling some technical types of work may not be entirely filled by Americans alone. Rather, the employment of technically adept people from beyond the American fence is a key in resolving this instance. Granted that refugees may not entirely be composed of technically adept individuals, nevertheless the possibility of having a few workable numbers is in a considerable degree.
Knowing for a fact that there are societal factors in other countries, oriental countries for instance, that are absent in the societal conditions of America, this social background can provide for the requisites being sought after in significant employment slots in the United States. For the most part, the communities outside American soil should not be altogether discredited of being able to contribute to the growth of the economy of the U. S. for the reason that they may in fact hold the substantial key in addressing these crucial roles and that America, throughout its history, is a nation of composite cultures.