[Marxism] Yes, your ancestors probably did come here legally — because 'illegal' immigration is less than a century old

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 18 19:16:01 MST 2018

LA Times op ed -

For those clamoring for a wall against immigrants, it may come as a
surprise to learn that there were no federal laws concerning immigration
until well into the history of the United States. When people say “my
ancestors came here legally,” they’re probably right. For the first century
of the country’s existence, anyone could land here and walk right off the
boat with no papers of any kind … Coming here “illegally” did not even
exist as a concept.

The concept of being an “illegal” immigrant pretty much dates back to 1924
— less than a century ago. For most of American history, coming here
“legally” meant next to nothing. And almost none of those who came here
“legally” a century ago would make it across the border under today’s far
more stringent standards.

What constitutes “legal” immigration has been a moving target throughout
our history. Americans who crow about their law-abiding ancestors may want
to learn a little more about immigration history before wishing for a
return to the “good old days” — when pretty much anyone could come to the
U.S. “legally.”


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