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America and Its Policy Toward Immigration During the late nineteenth century a wave of immigration known as the New Immigration swept across the United States The Northern and Western Europeans of the 1840s immigration period continued to arrive but the new wave brought significantly more people from eastern and southern Europe in addition to smaller groups from Canada Mexico and Japan As a result of this large influx in immigration rates questions concerning the regulation of immigration became the subject of intense debate and controversy America was forced to decide if it would allow any additional immigrants to settle within its borders and if so what restrictions it should place on them In response to these questions two solutions were proposed the first involved the implementation of a quota system that would limit the number of immigrants from each country while the second suggested the development of a literacy test that immigrants would have to pass to become a citizen Although each of these proposals has its apparent shortcomings it is evident that the quota system would be the better choice because it would effectively prevent the overpopulation of certain areas by one or two groups and would be easier to enforce Furthermore the fact that the literacy test would be totally ineffective in encouraging the assimilation of American language and values eliminates it as a realistic option Firstly the implementation of an immigrant quota system would easily and effectively prevent the domination of America by one or two nationalities By establishing the number of people from each country that would be allowed to settle in the United States one group of immigrants would not be capable of overtaking a certain region In doing so this would solve one of the problems posed by the New Wave of immigration For example in the 1880s two-thirds of the immigrants who arrived in America came from Germany England Ireland and Scandinavia If
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