Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Brief History of Undocumented Immigration

Was your grandfather an honored veteran of the Revolutionary or Civil Wars? Did your grandmother break bread at the first Thanksgiving? Were your ancesters Swedish, French, Dutch, English, or Spanish? Are you descended from African slaves? Not only are we a nation of immigrants - we are almost entirely a nation of undocumented immigrants. If your family came to America before 1891, your right to be here is due to the hardships and sacrifices of undocumented immigrants. While Ellis Island opened in 1892, the first real immigration visas were not issued until 1917. -- S.

15,000 B.C.E. Undocumented Asians immigrate to Alaska

1519 Undocumeted Spanish immigrants view Texas coast

1565 Undocumented Spanish immigrants with undocumented
African slaves arrive in South Carolina.

1565 Undocumented Spanish immigrants with undocumented
African slaves arrive in St. Augustine, Florida

1619 Undocumented African slaves sold to undocumented
English settlers in Jamestown, VA.

1620 Undocumented English 'Pilgrims' arrive in Massachusetts

1624 Undocumented Flemish Walloon families arrive in
New York and Connecticut.

1626 Undocumented Dutch immigrants arrive in New York

1639 Undocumented German, Swedish, and Finnish immigrants
arrive in New York.

1638 Undocumented Swedish immigrants land in Delaware

1654 Undocumented Jewish immigrants land in New York.

1655 Undocumented Dutch, Swedish, and German Immigrants demand
that undocumented Jewish immigrants be expelled from
New York. Agreement is made to segregate the Jewish

1682 Undocumented French immigrants arrive in Louisiana

1716 Undocumented Spanish immigrants arrive in Texas

1720 Undocumented German immigrants arrive in Louisiana

1742 Undocumented Russian immigrants arrive in Alaska

1769 Undocumented Spanish immigrants settle California

1770 - 1874
Undocumented immigrants arrived from Germany, Ireland
the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, and
Eastern Europe

1769 Undocumented Spanish immigrants settle San Diego

1778 Undocumented English immigrants arrive in Hawaii

1812 Undocumented Russian immigrants arrive in Fort Ross, California

1848 California changes from Mexican to United States Territory

1875 Supreme Court declares regulation of immigration
a Federal responsibility

1882 Chinese prohibited from immigration

1891 Federal government begins 'inspecting, admitting,
rejecting, and processing' immigrants.

1892 Ellis Island opens

1903 Federal government begins 'inspection of aliens' along
the Mexican border

1917 - 1924 Quotas and passports begin. All Asians banned
except Japanese.

1924 Immigration Visa's reduced and allocated based on
'national origin'

1940 Non-citizens first required to register and are
issued Alien Registration Receipts

1950 First 'Green Cards' issued

1952 New quota system with immigration limits set
by country.

1968 Visa discrimination based on race, place of birth,
sex, and residence unless a resident of the
Western Hemisphere. Abolished discrimiation
on Asian immigrants.

1976 Eliminated preferential treatment for residents
of the Western Hemisphere.

1978 Documented immigrant quota set at 290,000

1990 Documented immigrant quota set at 700,000

2001 Patriot Act raises barriers to immigration for those
from Middle Eastern, North African, and
Asian-Pacific Countries.

2002 U.S. government requires 'special registration' of immigrants
from a number of countries and begins mass deportations.

2006 U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill to make
undocumented immigration a crime.


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