Publication Date

May 2007


[Excerpt] For over 40 years, efforts have been made to respond to the unexpected consequences of the accidental revival of mass immigration that has followed the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965. Immigrants had been declining as a percentage of the population since 1914 and in absolute numbers since 1930. In 1965 only 4.4 percent of the population was foreign born and they totaled only 8.5 million people. There was absolutely no intention by policy makers of that era to increase the level of immigration. The post-World War II "baby boom" began pouring a tidal wave of new labor force entrants in the labor market that year and would continue to do so for the next 16 years. Moreover, the "War on Poverty" had been launched in 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. Both emphasized the need to focus on the employment needs of unskilled, poor and minority workers. Also, the infamous "bracero program" that had allowed the entry of temporary foreign workers from Mexico to do farm work had finally been terminated on December 31, 1964 because it had taken the agricultural labor market out of competition with the non-agricultural labor market.


Suggested Citation
Briggs, V. M. Jr. (2007). Real immigration reform: The path to credibility. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ithaca, NY: Author.