Immigration and poverty are still rooted in the modern economy. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, we had large numbers of immigrants in the United States, and due to this large number, it was tough for the immigrants with less education and workforce to survive (Constant & Schultz-Nielsen, 2004). A large number of migrants had fewer skills. They were forced to do jobs with lower wages, and most of them were women. Young ladies eventually ventured into prostitution and women living in the areas of low incomes. Poverty took the stage of a lack of knowledge. We are going to discuss some of the elements that acted as obstacles in the progression of women as immigrants that, in turn, promoted poverty among them (Soennichsen, 2011). Poverty has been the central issue in the previous and today amongst the immigrants and it has created constraints on the population not found among the natives. Knowledge is what one needs to have the power, and when we have the ability, then the laws related to poverty and women's immigration can be revised.
From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, approximately 25 million immigrants traveled to the US. Most of them were women of all ages with fewer skills and mindset about the jobs found in the US. Due to a lack of skills, it was tough for them to get employed in most of the companies because they only had specific positions they could serve. Becoming a prostitute did not sound well for them, but it was the only option for women to survive. Reformers came about to put time, money, and effort into changing the communities. People like Jane Addams thought it was necessary to form a house in Chicago where different reformers could revise unlawful behaviors against women and immigrants. The house was mostly in contact with the people who needed guidance and help, and it was made up of women who wanted to do away with prostitution and make laws that could favor women.
Having the Hull house working with different reform groups, a lot was achieved. Their main focus was to help the immigrants through revising the laws that could favor them to get opportunities just like the natives. From this approach, most people started to see the government in a different way on how they handled issues related to immigrants and poverty in the country. Some laws were put in place that could help the immigrants to survive, and the laws were, the Quota act and the National Origin act. The number of immigrants decreasing in the country allowed those immigrants who were already in the country to befit from the education and job opportunities that were available (Lazarus, 1888). If the immigrants could come with the intention of advancement and more opportunities, then most of them will be educated on how to become responsible citizens and how to explore different possibilities. The country could not take it easy when immigrants come with a positive intention that could put the country in more trouble that could not put the US and the rest of the world positively.
Government passing laws of stipend to legal immigrants to make work easy did not work because most of the immigrants did not have the skillset when coming to the US, which denied them access to most opportunities. To help the immigrants in the US, the government must provide them with the needed skills that will help them survive, which will help to eliminate poverty. The progressive reformers did it when they were able to educate the immigrants on the necessary skills to survive.
Constant, A., & Schultz-Nielsen, M. L. (2004). Immigrant selection and earnings. Migrants, work, and the welfare state. University Press of Southern Denmark and Rockwool Foundation, 187-211.
Lazarus, J. (1888). Emma Lazarus. Century, 36, 875.
Soennichsen, J. (2011). The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. ABC-CLIO.
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