The New Immigration

December 13, 1974

Report Outline
Appraisal of Current U.S. Immigration
View of America's Immigrant Heritage
Future Role of Ethnicity in America
Special Focus

Appraisal of Current U.S. Immigration

Change in Policy and Attitudes in Past Decade

A new immigration is taking place in America and is once again raising a national debate on an issue that has been so emotional and troublesome in other times. Major changes in the size and characteristics of America's immigrant population have occurred in the decade since the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965. The act marked a turning point in American immigration policy by ending the long-established and long-controversial policy of using national origin as a major criterion for admitting foreigners to this country. Moreover, American attitudes toward immigration also have changed in the intervening years.

The pro-immigration sentiment that was largely responsible for eliminating the inequities of the old system has been replaced in some quarters by concern about population growth, dwindling resources and the state of the economy. Does America really want—and can it afford—to extend the Statue of Liberty's invitation to the tired, the poor, the wretched refuse of the world, some Americans are asking? Is it time for this “nation of immigrants” to pull up the gangplank? The current ambivalence toward immigration was evident in a recent speech by Attorney General William B. Saxbe. “With the manifold problems the nation faces—energy shortages, inflation, scarcity of some foodstuffs, rising unemployment—it is apparent that we are not a limitless horn of plenty,” Saxbe told a local bar association meeting in Brownsville, Texas, on Oct. 30. “While we must help other nations all we can, we cannot let our own people suffer in the bargain.”

Demands for more restrictive immigration policies come at a time when world food shortages and economic uncertainties abroad are making the United States increasingly attractive to foreigners. The volume of immigration already is increasing. In fiscal year 1965, a total of 296,697 immigrants were admitted into this country; by fiscal 1973, that number had grown to 400,063—a 34.8 per cent increase. “Immigration is not about to decline” in the years ahead, according to Charles B. Keely, associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University. “Rather, it would seem that the fiscal year 1973 may be the beginning of a new stage of immigration….”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Immigration and Naturalization
Mar. 19, 2021  Immigration Overhaul
Feb. 24, 2017  Immigrants and the Economy
Sep. 02, 2016  U.S.-Mexico Relations
Oct. 23, 2015  Immigrant Detention
Sep. 27, 2013  Border Security
Mar. 09, 2012  Immigration Conflict
Dec. 2010  Europe's Immigration Turmoil
Sep. 19, 2008  America's Border Fence
Feb. 01, 2008  Immigration Debate Updated
May 04, 2007  Real ID
May 06, 2005  Illegal Immigration
Jul. 14, 2000  Debate Over Immigration
Jan. 24, 1997  The New Immigrants
Feb. 03, 1995  Cracking Down on Immigration
Sep. 24, 1993  Immigration Reform
Apr. 24, 1992  Illegal Immigration
Jun. 13, 1986  Immigration
Dec. 10, 1976  Illegal Immigration
Dec. 13, 1974  The New Immigration
Feb. 12, 1964  Immigration Policy Revision
Feb. 06, 1957  Immigration Policy
Nov. 27, 1951  Emigration from Europe
Feb. 09, 1945  Immigration to Palestine
Sep. 30, 1940  Forced Migrations
Apr. 18, 1939  Immigration and Deportation
Jul. 27, 1931  Deportation of Aliens
Mar. 12, 1929  The National-Origin Immigration Plan
Aug. 19, 1927  Immigration from Canada and Latin America
Nov. 01, 1926  Quota Control and the National Origin System
Jul. 12, 1924  Immigration and its Relation to Political and Economic Theories and Party Affiliation
Immigration and Naturalization
Outsourcing and Immigration