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Nowrasteh: The Conservative Case for Immigration Reform

In making The Conservative Case for Immigration Reform in National Review, Cato’s Alex Nowrasteh starts with a history lesson:

“The first naturalization law, passed in 1790, did not put any restrictions on immigration. It wasn’t until 1882 that Congress, in its first major legislative restriction, passed a blanket ban on Chinese immigrants. Over the next 40 years, Congress passed laws banning immigration of the Japanese and illiterates, and it imposed low quotas on immigration from European countries…”

“During the 1950s, the Bracero guest-worker visa program channeled migrants into a legal and regulated market, shrinking the illegal-immigrant population by 90 percent. The Border Patrol handed visas to migrant workers when they entered and sometimes even gave illegal immigrants work visas after they were discovered working on American farms. Instead of building fences or putting troops on the border, the Bracero program welcomed migrants willing to work in the legal migration system of the time. Such a system does not exist today.”


Author Description

Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is the founder and executive director of Americans By Choice. Fergus brings 20 years of experience in public policy, advocacy, and politics to Americans By Choice.

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About Us

Americans By Choice is a national, membership-based organization supporting immigration reform. We value the positive contributions immigrants make to America, and we support immigration reform that makes it easier for the world’s most talented, innovative, and motivated people to live and work in America legally, to create jobs here, and to contribute to a growing American economy.