• Here’s Where Immigration Stands Today in Trump’s United States
  • August 20, 2018
  • With immigration matters figuring so prominently in the news, one might wonder, how did we get here? Many of us might think that things were always difficult, that legal entry always involved a formalized process, and that our own ancestors surely did things “the right way” after the formation of the sovereign United States of America.

    There were no bars to U.S. immigration until 1875, when the first exclusionary law barred convicts and prostitutes from entry. In the decades that followed, exclusion grounds grew to bar “idiots,” lunatics, convicts, persons likely to become public charges, epileptics, insane persons, professional beggars, anarchists, paupers, polygamists, and those who committed crimes involving moral turpitude. Restrictions were placed on natives of the Asia-Pacific triangle, and quota systems established, based on concerns that people of certain origins and from certain countries would inundate the U.S.A. Grounds for exclusion have persisted, and expanded, and continue to vex those seeking to travel to the U.S.A. -- whether as a tourist, a foreign student, a temporary worker, the spouse of a U.S. citizen, a refugee, or any of the other statuses available under U.S. immigration laws.