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Immigration Roger Daniels Immigration and immigration policy have been an integral part of the American polity since the early years of the American Republic. Until late in the nineteenth century it had been the aim of American policy, and thus its diplomacy, to facilitate the entrance of free immigrants.
From the s until World War II —an era of immigration restriction of increasing severity—the diplomacy of immigration was chiefly concerned with the consequences of keeping some people out and, afterwhen Congress made the diplomatic establishment partially responsible for immigration selection and its control, with keeping some prospective immigrants out.
Sinceafter only seemingly minor changes in policy during World War IIand partly due to the shift in American foreign policy from quasi-isolation to a quest for global leadership and hegemony, immigration policy has become less and less restrictive.
Cold War imperatives plus a growing tendency toward more egalitarian attitudes about ethnic and racial minorities contributed to a change in immigration policy.
Many foreigners clearly understood that there were certain ironies in these long-term changes. No one was more aware of this than the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Visiting Washington in during a time when the United States was urging the Soviet Union to allow more Jews to emigrate, the Chinese leader, according to Jimmy Carter 's memoirs, told the American president: One of the complaints in Thomas Jefferson 's Declaration of Independence was that George III had "endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
Article 2, Section 1. The only other reference to migration referred obliquely to the African slave trade, providing that "the Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight" Article 1, Section 9.
In Congress passed the first naturalization act, limiting those eligible to "free white persons. The question of the impressment of seamen was one of the issues that troubled Anglo-American relations fromwhen the first of many American protests against impressment was made, until the end of the War of Foreign Secretary George Canning put the British case nicely when he declared that when British seamen "are employed in the private service of foreigners, they enter into engagements inconsistent with the duty of subjects.
In such cases, the species of redress which the practice of all times has … sanctioned is that of taking those subjects at sea out of the service of such foreign individuals.
After that the British recognized, in practice, the right of naturalization, but one of the ongoing tasks of American diplomatic officials has been trying to ensure that naturalized American citizens are recognized as such when they visit their former native lands.
This has been particularly a problem for men of military age during time of war. While barring the African slave trade at the earliest possible moment inimmigration "policy" in the new nation universally welcomed free immigrants.
American leaders understood that immigration was necessary to fill up their largely empty and expanding country and would have endorsed the nineteenth-century Argentine statesman Juan Bautista Alberdi 's maxim that "to govern is to populate. As long as American immigration policy welcomed all free immigrants there were no policy issues for American diplomats to negotiate.
Immigration first became a special subject for diplomatic negotiation during the long run-up to the Chinese Exclusion Act of A few Chinese had come to the United States —chiefly to East Coast ports—in the late eighteenth century in connection with the China trade.
After American missionaries were established in China, some Chinese, mostly young men, came to the eastern United States for education without raising any stir.
But relatively large-scale Chinese immigration, mostly to California beginning with the gold rush ofproduced an anti-Chinese movement. Before this movement became a national concern, Secretary of State William H. Seward appointed a former Massachusetts congressman, Anson Burlingameas minister to China in He was the first to reside in Beijing.
A radical former free-soiler and antislavery orator, Burlingame supported Chinese desires for equal treatment by the Western powers. While still in Beijing, he resigned his post in late and accepted a commission as China's first official envoy to the West.
With an entourage that included two Chinese co-envoys and a large staff, he traveled to BritainFranceGermanyRussiaand the United States seeking modification of China's unequal status. He was successful only in Washington.
There he negotiated in what became known as the Burlingame Treaty—actually articles added to the Treaty of Tientsin The agreement, China's first equal treaty, was ratified without controversy and contained the first immigration clause in any American treaty: The United States and the Emperor of China cordially recognize the inherent and inalienable right of man to change his home and allegiance and also the mutual advantage of free migration and emigration … for the purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents … but nothing contained herein shall be held to confer naturalization upon the citizens of the United States in China, nor upon the subjects of China in the United States.
The United States would never again recognize a universal "right to immigrate," and by the anti-Chinese movement was becoming national. Spurred by economic distress in California and a few instances of Chinese being used as strikebreakers in Massachusetts, New Jerseyand Pennsylvaniaanti-Chinese forces stemming largely from the labor movement made increasingly powerful demands for an end to Chinese immigration, usually blending their economic arguments with naked racism.
That summer Congress was legislating the changes in the existing naturalization statute impelled by the end of slavery and the Fourteenth Amendment. Republican Senator Charles Sumner and a few other radicals wanted to make the new naturalization statute color blind, but the majority did not wish to extend that fundamental right to Chinese.
The new statute amended the eligibility from "free white persons" to "white persons and to aliens of African nativity and persons of African descent. It took testimony in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco just before and after that year's presidential election.Vol.7, No.3, May, Mathematical and Natural Sciences.
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