Despite there being hostility and violence towards immigrants such as the African Americans and Native American, 20 million of them were able to enter the United States between 1890 and 1924. The fact was shared by Roger Daniels, author of the book Not Like Us: Immigrants and Minorities in America. The main event that is covered in the book is the growing nativism and anti-immigrant stances that began towards the end of the 19th century. The book's author, Roger Daniels wrote numerous books most of which were on the subject of immigration history and the American-Japanese internment during World War II.
Daniels (1997, p. 20), describes the 1890s as one of the worst in Americas' history. The author states that it was, "one of the most turbulent and stressful decades." The assertion was attributed to the "deterioration of racial and ethnic relations" (Daniels, 1997, p. 20). According to Shi and Tindall (2015), the occurrence can be credited to the "starvation struggle which for so long made up the life of the race." During the period, "race and ethnicity were murky issues" (Shi and Tindall, 2015). Though America treated immigrants with contempt, "it did not consider its approach to entrants when it made inroads to other countries in droves." Daniels (1997, p. 20) terms America's entry into other countries as "beginnings of an American overseas empire." Americans expected that they are treated as guests and friendlies in the territories of other countries while they "deliberately oppressed" those who came to their region (Shi and Tindall, 2015). The occurrence was despite the fact that they were both in "search of opportunities" in each other's nations (Shi and Tindall, 2015).
An instance of when American mistreated immigrants were in the case law United States v. Thind. According to United States v. Thind (1923, p. 1), "the Supreme Court deemed Asian Indians ineligible for citizenship" The judges reasoning was that citizenship was reserved for free whites. The fact can also be exemplified in a speech by Senator of California Ellison DuRant Smith who stated that "the time has arrived when we should shut the door" (Ellison, 1924, p. 1). Even when the entry of these immigrants into the United States was successful, they struggled and suffered. For instance, one boy was asked where he and his family go to church. The boy replied "We don't have no clothes to go to church" (Riis, 1971, p. 4)
Perhaps the reason as to why America was so oppressive to persons from other countries was that "Americas democracy was endangered" (Daniels, 1997, p. 22). In his book, Daniels (1997, p. 22) postulate that America was in danger from "the dominance of the East." He stated that "the people are demoralized" meaning that the people from the countries in the East suffer from the hands of their leaders thus prompting them to seek a new life in the United States. They, therefore, wanted to experience the "advantage of America's free enterprise culture" (Shi and Tindall, 2015). In America, there would be "few state or federal laws to hinder them" (Shi and Tindall, 2015).
In conclusion, America was not justified to treat immigrants the way the citizens treated them. The country should have instead embraced a mutual relationship of exploiting opportunities instead of treating immigrants as a threat. In doing so, they would have adopted a harmonious relationship.
Daniels, R. (1997). Not like us: Immigrants and minorities in America, 1890-1924. Chicago: Ivan R Dee.
Ellison DuRant Smith, April 9, 1924, Congressional Record, 68th Congress, 1st Session (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1924), vol. 65, 5961-5962.
Riis, J. (1971). How the Other Half Lives. 1890. Reprint, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.Shi, D., & Tindall, G. (2015). America: The essential learning edition. New York: W.W Norton and Company.
United States v. Thind, 261 U.S. 204, 43 S. Ct. 338, 67 L. Ed. 616 (1923).
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