For much of its history, America had essentially open borders, both before the establishment of the United States and after. In 1921 the Emergency Quota Act, initially intended to be a temporary measure, imposed the first serious restrictions on entry into the United States. The restrictions were motivated by nativist sentiment, xenophobia, and fears over economic and social stability, writes Ed Krayewski, in a look at America's open-border past and possible future. Unfortunately, these same sentiments and fears still dominate immigration debate.
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