The Rise in Illegal Immigration in the 1960s

Authored by Elizabeth Paul

This is a hidden compartment meant to smuggle in illegal aliens from Mexico, taken in 1968.

In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson (Ball et al 2017). This act ended the quota system started in the 1920s that had been put in place that gave preference to those of European origin, and instead created a system that was meant to reunite immigrant families and attract skilled workers (History.com 2010). This original quota system, however, did not include Mexico (The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress 2015). Because of this, temporary workers from Mexico were often hired to work on farms as part of the Bracero Program (Ball et al 2017). However, even after the end of this program as well as the introduction of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, former workers that were part of the Bracero Program would still cross over the border to work these farm jobs.

Continue reading

Does the Melting Pot Still Meld in 2018?

Authored by Ocaria DiMango

A copy of the cover of Forbes Magazine, dated October 30, 1978 displaying the Statue of Liberty. This is currently part of the Endres Collection for the Center for Migration Studies.

This artifact is a copy of the October 30, 1978 issue of Forbes magazine, which portrays the Statue of Liberty in all her glory, a symbol of American’s immigrant heritage. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! (Moreno 2004). However, this sentiment towards new immigrants has changed throughout the life of America. I believe that views towards immigration, over time, have been based on what America was going through in history. It’s important for us to look back on an article like this and see how far we’ve come – so in this case, I wonder, how far have we come since 1978? Continue reading

“The United States and the World”: The Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy

Authored by Catherine Findorak

“Illegal Migration Examined at San Antonio Hearing.” Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy Newsletter No. 3 (January 1980)

In August of 1981, joint committees of the U.S. house and senate released the final report of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy (SCIRP), entitled U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest (1981). Based on years of work, the final report of the commission recommended “closing the back door to undocumented/illegal migration, opening the front door a little more to accommodate legal migration in the interests of this country” (U.S. Congress 1981, 3) and stressed the need to work with other countries to improve the conditions that cause migration and exile (Fragomen 1981).

Continue reading

Ed Koch, Immigration, and S. 461

Authored by Nicolás Cabrera

Handwritten memo and copy of S. 461

A memo sent to Arthur P. “Skip” Endres by Ed Koch.

Senate Bill 461 of the 94th Congress was introduced January 28, 1975, by Sen. Harrison A. Williams, Jr. [D-NJ] to grant “…a child adopted by a single United States citizen the same immigrant status as a child adopted by a United States citizen and his spouse pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act” (Library of Congress 1975).
Continue reading

Endres Collection – Metro tells firm to hire 2 who don’t speak Spanish

Authored by Diane Darcy

Article from the Miami Herald dated October 26, 1984.

 

This article is a cultural artifact housed within the Arthur P. “Skip” Endres Collection owned by The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS). Arthur Endres was an influential figure on immigration when he served as counsel for the House Judicatory Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law from 1973-1989. The collection consists of documents that Endres created or used during his tenure. It provides rare primary sources of how migration and refugee law was made and how that process might be improved for future generations of immigrants (CMS 2018).   Continue reading

Chick Sexers and Congress

Authored by Alice Kiffer.

On May 21, 1979, at the 96th Congress (1979-1980), Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) introduced H.R. 4161, which was then referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary[1]. On July 11, 1979, Assistant Counsel Ray D’Uva wrote to Chairwoman Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) to discuss a possible administrative, rather than legislative, resolution to the issue (see image).

The issue in question: immigrant chick sexers and the (in)ability of the American Chick Sexing Association (Amchick) to file with the Labor Department on behalf of the chick sexers. As D’Uva summarized in the memo, the poultry industry claimed that there were not enough qualified chick sexers in the U.S. The Labor Department did not dispute that claim or the perceived need for immigrant chick sexers, but it took the position that it could not accept applications filed by Amchick on the sexers’ behalf because the organization was not an “employer” for purposes of labor certification.

Continue reading

The NCWC’s Fight for Just Migration in WWII

Authored by Maeve Dwyer

National Catholic Welfare Conference Bureau of Immigration Annual Report (1940-1941), from the Center for Migration Studies National Catholic Welfare Conference Collection

In 1920 the National Catholic Welfare Conference, previously the National Catholic Welfare Council, created a Bureau of Immigration to aid immigrants entering the United States. [1] The NCWC Annual Report (July 1, 1940- June 30, 1941) describes the efforts of the NCWC in assisting migrants who sought refuge in the United States during a time of increasing turbulence and uncertainty. Specifically, within the context of this annual report, the violence of World War II[2] was spreading throughout Europe. The NCWC took great pains to relieve the displaced, and those fleeing Nazi holdings or Axis power territories.

Continue reading

Garner J. Cline 1979 Letter: Soviet Jews in Rome

Authored by Marianne Brennan

Figure 1: Letter from Peter Regis to Garner J. Cline, in 1979, regarding the overflow of Soviet Jew refugees in Rome.

One of the hot topics in today’s political climate is the refugee crisis. On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning refugees from Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days, and suspended the US refugee programme for 120 days.[1] This contentious national issue is nothing new. In fact, the banning of refugees can be traced back through US history.

Continue reading

President Kennedy Press Conference on the Immigration and Nationality Act

President Kennedy Press Conference on the Immigration and Nationality Act

Authored by: Ariana Kaleta

President Kennedy Press Conference on the Immigration and Nationality Act June 11, 1963,                     Abby Rowe/White House
“Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we  can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience.”
John F Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants

Here we see a relaxed President Kennedy, laughing during a break at a press conference but what he was discussing were serious matters for the future face of America.  The President was compelled to write “A Nation of Immigrants” after repeatedly hearing the stories of immigrant’s rights groups, such as at this meeting with the American Committee on Italian Migration.

When Kennedy first came into office, Henry Cabot Lodge’s Immigration Act of 1924 had been diligently enforced under the firm hand of the Immigration Restriction League (a prominent lobbying group founded in 1884). [1]  For four decades, the Immigration Act of 1924 used quotas to prohibit all ‘non-nativist’ nationalities, in particular Jewish, Irish and Italians fleeing Europe. However, it also had punitive effects on the almost historically unrecognized Arabic and Asian immigrants.[2]  As the threat of communism and post war depression flooded across Europe and Asia, waves of immigrants risked their lives to journey to America, only to be turned away at Ellis Island, due to these racist and religious discriminatory laws. Continue reading