Immigration and Migration in the United States between 1930-1965


Overview of immigration to the US from 1930-1965:
By Fia Liope

From 1930-1965, there were many different immigrants and migrants moving into and around the United States in search of better lives. First of all in the 1930’s there was the Dust Bowl, which was the beginning of migrants from the West moving to California. Secondly there was the great migration, which was a migration of the African Americans from the South to the North. Furthermore many immigrants came to the US from Europe, they faced many struggles in there home life which led them to come to immigrate into America. Finally we discovered that many immigrants came to the United Status following WWII. Overall immigrants and migrants came to the US and traveled around the US seeking to improve their lives and live in liberty and freedom.

Causes of Migration in 1930-1965:
By Brianna Kinahan, Laura Wong and Fia Liope

The Dust Bowl
From 1930 to 1965 there were many migrants entering California in hope of finding work opportunities, however within time these migrants discovered that going to California was not what they expected. In 1932 there was a drought throughout the Great Planes (a.k.a. the mid west). This drought dried out almost all the farms and destroyed them completely. This was called the "Dust Bowl." After the Dust Bowl occurred, thousands of farmers were forced to migrate with their families to California in hope of finding work. These migrant refugees hoped to find work in California because California had the perfect climate for plantations, and for long growing seasons. This made California the ideal place to earn good money. However, even though California seemed like the ideal place to start a new life, local farmers discriminated against migrants. Twenty percent of "Dust Bowl" migrants came from Oklahoma ( a.k.a. " Okies"), the others came from Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Furthermore Mexican immigrants were already settled in California, in fact when the Dust Bowl migrants came to California most farm laborers were Mexicans and Filipinos. Life was not very simple for migrants because there was not enough work for everyone and not enough room for people to live. Migrants could not support themselves with only minimum wage. Consequently migrants' set up camps along irrigation ditches in the farm fields, these were called "dithchbanks." Dithchbank were small, and were often unsanitary. Over all, the Dust Bowl migrants came to California in hope of starting a new life and in the end they found themselves is unsanitary and difficult circumstances.

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Great Migration
In 1916-1930 African Americans moved from the rural South to the urban North seeking a better life. Consequently, they discovered that life in the North wasn't everything that they were looking for. Chicago had approximately seven million African Americans who has migrated from the South, these migrants contributed to Chicago's black community in the 1840s. Chicago had few opportunities, which dissatisfied the black community immensely. In addition, black women had very few job opportunities. The Great Migration was the starting point of the African American working class. African Americans migrated to the North to escape racism, to get their children educated and because they were also searching for employment opportunities. Some Northern cities attracted newcomer migrants. Black Southerners started moving north because the Northern states prohibited slavery. Overall the African Americans migrated from the South to the North seeking a better life style with more opportunities for freedom and equality.

Migration to the USA is nothing new. It is what our country was founded on. Most migration occurs because the US provides the promise of better jobs and a better life. This is what the people that migrate to the US often believe. In 1943, a law called the Exclusion Law was repealed and 105 Chinese could migrate to the US per year. Before this the Chinese could not come at all (Wikipedia ). After nine years this law was passed an act called the McCarran-Walter Act was passed which meant that nobody could be denied entry the US based on their race, although it still limited an overall amount of 150,000 immigrants per year. Most of the people that came were either skilled workers, relatives of legal citizens of the US, or resident aliens themselves. Now the US was opening up their borders . The most common reason people would migrate to the US during this time frame was to obtain work. But this was not the only reason they came. Some came to seek political asylum (these people did not agree with the beliefs or treatment of others in their home country, so came to the US to be safe). Others came to express their freedom of religion. Others still came to escape the inhumane treatment they were receiving based on their sexual orientation. These people were “pushed” away from there homeland mostly because their opportunities in life were limited if they were to stay (Wikipedia). Europe was one of the places that was limited and mostly migrated except for London. London had, had the prosperity (Work). Around the times of 1930 and 1940 many Jews tried coming to the US because they were seeking an escape from WWII. However, they were denied and their only hope of coming in was to sneak in. They were refugees from the Nazis around this time. (Ellis Island ).

In the 1930s-1965,immigration to the United States had decreased dramatically. This was mainly because of World War II. Large numbers of people tried to move into the United States, but the majority were turned away and sent back to their home countries. A large number of these immigrants were refugees who were seeking religious or political asylum. One of the major groups of refugees was Jewish people. Migration within the United States consisted of the internment of Japanese citizens and resident aliens. All the Japanese citizens and resident aliens, were, at this time moved into "internment camps" where they were kept until the war was over. This happened because the US government was afraid that there might be Japanese spies who were working for their country of origin within the Japanese-American community. A couple of other ethnicities were also detained for a short period of time for similar reasons as the Japanese. After WWII was over the United States made on official apology to the Japanese for their internment during the war. (Peopling of America)

During this time period (1930-1965) immigration to the US had decreased to it's lowest point in several years. Up thorough 1965 the immigration rate slowly increased at a steadily throughout the years. In 1921, the Emergency Quota Act was put into action and started the limitation on the number of immigrants. Then in 1965, the Immigration Act's previously strict rules, were loosened leading to a much more dramatic increase in the number of immigrants (The Americas).
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Effects of Immigration in 1930-1965:
By Nathan Yee and Alex Rios

Immigration between 1930 and 1965 had many effects on people and different countries. Some of these effects were on the economy and others were on people's jobs. Immigration mostly affected the U.S. and Europe. When people immigrated to the U.S. they would have to pass though the quota system, which denied most of them. The quota system affected the immigrants coming into to United States. It stated that out of a any amount of immigrants coming in, only three percent of them could enter. The U.S. made this law to only allow three percent of the immigrants in to the U.S. This was to control the population of the country and prevent over population. As this did prevent most problems with population it didn't help with people's jobs (Immigration to the US). People in the U.S. started to have their wages lowered which increased the number of high-school dropouts. Another effect of immigration was that immigrants started to come unskilled. So this made it harder for the economy to grow because people were uneducated on how to do things. Immigration made an impact on both the U.S. and Europe in big ways (Ellis Island).

During the years 1930-1965 people from all different countries where migrating to the US. The 1930's was when the Great Depression was going on, which was bad for nearly everyone. People where getting paid lower wages and the country was getting crowded from the immigrants. After the quota system was passed it limited the number of people that could come by 3%. This caused the US to turn a lot of immigrants away. They used this system to help control the population. Other countries where doing badly, so people fled to the US which affected the population dramatically, starting to over-populate the country.

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Grossman, James R. "Great Migration." Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago History Museum. 8 Nov. 2008 http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/545.html.

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"The Peopling Of America." The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. Ellis Island Foundation.Inc. <http://www.ellisisland.org/immexp/wseix_5_4.asp>.

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Fanslow, Robin A. "The Migrant Experience." Library of Congress. 6 Apr. 1998. American Folklife Center. 9 Nov. 2008 http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tsme.html.

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