Reading the history of Immigration in the US is very informative. Pretty much every immigration law is written by racists and bigots. And anti-anarchists
The first naturalization law in the United States was the Naturalization Act of 1790, which restricted naturalization to "free white persons" of "good moral character" who had resided in the country for two years and had kept their current state of residence for a year.
After the immigration of 123,000 Chinese in the 1870s, who joined the 105,000 who had immigrated between 1850 and 1870, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 which specifically limited further Chinese immigration
Congress also banned persons because of poor health or lack of education. An 1882 law banned entry of "lunatics" and infectious disease carriers. After President William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist of immigrant parentage, Congress enacted the Anarchist Exclusion Act in 1901 to exclude known anarchist agitators. A literacy requirement was added in Immigration Act of 1917.
The crucial 1923 Supreme Court case United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind created the official stance to classify Indians as non-white, which at the time retroactively stripped Indians of citizenship, since zealous prosecutors argued Indian Americans had gained citizenship illegally.
The funny thing about the new laws is just that they don't change. Still racist. So, it's been about 150 years since we first decided that people needed 'permission' to come here (so it seems). My family arrived in 1617 (I think?), and about 1920 or so, and I'm not sure about my dad's side of the family (other than the Native American). So, from what it seems like, my family was lucky enough to be able to come here, the same way millions of others still do (without paperwork), without it being illegal.
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