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The Immigration and Nationality Act

Brief history

The 1924 Immigration Act the Congress passed in 1924 established the national-origin quotas. The Act allowed the immigrants to be awarded immigration visas. The total number of immigrants awarded visa was two percent of the population of each nationality residing in the U.S by 1890 census. The immigrants from Asia were excluded in the Act. The World War I made people anxious hence making a large population to support the limits on immigration. The number of immigrants reduced, and by 1970, the number was 4.7 percent of the totals population, a 10 percent fall when compared to 1910.

The Immigration and Nationality Act that the Congress passed in 1965 change the policy of immigration. It caused the elimination of the quotas based on nationality. The new policy favoured the immigrants who wanted to join families residing in the United States and those having the needed skills. As a result, the immigration from Latin America and Asia increased. America allowed the entry of 1.3 new immigrants in 2014, a figure higher than the 1.2 million in 2013. The immigrant from Canada was 41,100, from Mexico was 130,000, from China was 131,800 and from India sent 147,500. The population of immigrant today is similar to that of the late 19th century, where the number immigrants were close to 15 percent of the United States residents. Most of the immigrants were from Canada, Germany and Italy and had the skills needed in the United States such as tailoring, shop-keeping and stonemasonry. 27 percent of the immigrants were skilled workers while native-born American who were skilled worker was only 17 percent.

Why immigration is an issue

The illegal immigrants do not pay taxes resulting to economic losses. Often, the illegal immigrants do no pay some taxes the same way as the legit citizens. Surveys show that majority of illegal immigrants don no pay state, as well as federal income taxes and they, never intend to pay. Sometimes they take advantage of the free benefits and social services being offered to them. An economic downfall or taxes can surge if more people are using resources than the money paid. The cost of education of illegal immigrants’ children is very high. The recent data shows that the children of illegal immigrants constitute a substantial drain on local and state public funds. Most of the illegal immigrants’ children were born in the U.S thus are United States citizens and are public schools education. The Supreme Court ruled that children who are United States residents are entitled to the education in public school whether regardless of being immigrants. The immigrants’ families with children receive more local and state services especially education than they pay in local and state taxes.

Immigration causes insecurity in the United States. The influx of illegal immigrants into the United States national and legal security. When there is a population of people who are undocumented or have forged paper, the result is security problems. It is because, the presence of a big number of undocumented immigrants distracts resources, distort laws and effectively creates a cover for criminals and terrorist even though they do not pose direct security threats. The cost of terrorism on the economy can be huge as compared to the economic benefits the immigrants.

Illegal immigration can result in changes dynamics of employment. The wages pricing in a free market economy depends on demand and supply. The wages usually go up if the market lacks skilled workers. The price of a product usually goes down when there is a lot of the same product. The job market usually has more workers when there is illegal migration into the country than it would have when they are not present. More workers result in poor wages meaning that there is lower pricing value of work. The immigrants without college degrees are more likely to look for jobs in construction and agriculture. These areas will have lower wages hence native-born workers will leave the jobs to look for alternative jobs like sales.

Overcrowding usually results when there is illegal immigration. The population dynamics of an area can change rapidly as a result of illegal immigration. For instance, around 50 percent of students who are starting school in California are either children of immigrants or immigrants. The added capacity of the immigrant students causes overcrowding in the United States schools. Close to 15 percent of the United States schools exceed their capacity by 6 percent.

The expected reasonable outcome

The restriction of illegal immigration can have both positive and negative outcomes in the country. The immigration usually fuels the economy a result of the added workforce, meaning if immigration is reduced the GDP will fall. Most of the immigrants usually work in industries where there is need of workers. Therefore, restriction on immigration means that those industries will lack enough personnel. The move can benefit the native-Americans due increase of jobs in the positions where immigrant occupies. The wage pricing increases as a result of decreases in supply thus the native-American will gain from the higher pricing of the value of work. The public is likely to start benefiting from the positive outcome in labor market after one year. The level of insecurity will reduce due to restriction on immigration. The potential terrorist criminals who take advantage of loopholes in immigration documentation will not have cover when strict policy removes the loopholes. However, reduction of insecurity may take longer time possibly five years.


Illegal immigration is a pressing issue in most of the developed countries, especially in the United States. It may adversely affect the security and stability of both the transit and destination countries if not controlled. Illegal immigration is usually encouraged when immigration policies are not strict. The three branches of government play a leading role in formulating as well as enforcing policies for immigration. Illegal immigration causes more harm than benefits to the country hence good policies should be used for control.



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