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Immigration began around 1790 when congress passed the first national statute defining who was eligible for citizenship. Since then federal immigration policy has defined who, why, and how long an individual can come or stay in the United States. The goals of immigration can be categorized into five categories: social (family), economic (labor), moral/humanitarian (asylum/refugee), cultural (diversity), and security (controlling entry).
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 altered the previous 1952 immigration act where it abolished the quota system. It put limits on immigration from the West Hemisphere and added a cap of twenty thousand immigrants per year from any country.
This act made it easier for immigrants to come to the United States. Hispanics arrived around the 1980s and 1990s.
Though the Federal policy dictated who was able to come in, they didn’t take into thought how the immigrants were going to live once they come to the United States. This arrival created tension amongst other communities. Very few immigrants arrive in the United States with fluency in English.
In fact, around the turn of the century, like today, the children present in each classroom often came from several different language backgrounds.
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