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“Contemporary Immigration: Theoretical Perspectives on Its Determinants and Modes of Incorporation.

Immigration patterns of the 1930s were affected by the Great Depression. In the final prosperous year, 1929, there were 279,678 immigrants recorded,[26] but in 1933, only 23,068 moved to the U.S.[15] In the early 1930s, more people emigrated from the United States than to it.[27] The U.S. government sponsored a Mexican Repatriation program which was intended to encourage people to voluntarily move to Mexico, but thousands were deported against their will.[28] Altogether about 400,000 Mexicans were repatriated half of them US citizens.[29] Most of the Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis and World War II were barred from coming to the United States.[30] In the post-war era, the Justice Department launched Operation Wetback, under which 1,075,168 Mexicans were deported in 1954.[31]

First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia. … In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.— Ted Kennedy, chief Senate sponsor of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.[32]

Since 1965

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Cellar Act, abolished the system of national-origin quotas. By equalizing immigration policies, the act resulted in new immigration from non-European nations, which changed the ethnic make-up of the United States.[33] In 1970, 60% of immigrants were from Europe; this decreased to 15% by 2000.[34] In 1990, George H. W. Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990,[35] which increased legal immigration to the United States by 40%.[36] In 1991, Bush signed the Armed Forces Immigration Adjustment Act 1991, allowing foreign service members who had serve 12 or more years in the US Armed Forces to qualify for permanent residency and, in some cases, citizenship.