History of Immigration Reform

A few of America's key immigration policies that helped shape the country into what it is today as well as other particular events and systems related to immigration.


This act was particularly important since it opened up the gateway for much larger portions of non-European immigrants to enter the United States. It is one of the major factors in changing the demographics of the United States to what they are today.

Set immigration quotas as high as 700,000 for 1992-1994 and decreased to 675,000 for the years that followed. This is particularly known for making one of the largest increases to the foreign born labor force of the United States.

DACA was announced on June 15, 2012 by then President Barack Obama while applications for this process were opened up by USCIS on August 15th. It is argued that it was more capable of performing in the country since it did not provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants unlike that of the proposed DREAM Act.

Funding for the border wall is being put to use as the President argued that the border crisis constituted as a national emergency. The Pentagon has officially allotted 1 billion from its funds towards the construction of the wall.

The USCBP says that their resources are being stretched beyond limits as an excessive amount of people are being detained at the border. It is so severe that it mitigates processing efficiency and that the United States has deployed troops along the border as well.

In April, Kirstjen Nielsen was in charge of the DHS until her resignation. She succeeded former administration member John F. Kelly. One of the key issues during this period to the public was the separation of children from their parents during detention.

While border patrol does assist migrants at times that come from the south, they are also apart of the Department of Homeland Security and thus are able to treat excessive migration as a terror threat. With the parent group of USCBP, USBP must enforce the law in regards to drugs that are well known for passing through from the southern border in which groups like smugglers and cartels have had a history of violent engagements with the USBP. Generally, USBP detains found migrants and holds them at processing centers to determine deportation or a potential stay and there have always been those who were able to bypass the entire USBP system as a whole to enter the United States. Another fact of interest, over half of field agents are Latino American.

Fences were built along the Southern border in hopes of deterring immigration. The fence was not finished until well into the Obama administration.

On December 21st, the federal government was shutdown due to the lack of a deal regarding immigration, a few months after troops were first deployed at the border.