《英语国家国情与文化-美国》PDF电子版教材-U2-精简版

发布时间:2023-04-19 02:04:17浏览次数:81
English Speaking Countries Today – America Unit Two 1 Unit Two Core Text A Nation of Immigrants ........................ “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” ---The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, American Poet 1849-1887 A photo of Emma Lazarus http://www.jwa.org/exhibits/wov/lazarus/ acclaimed presidents have so eloquently noted: Franklin D. Roosevelt1 said: “Remember, remember always, that all of us... are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” John F. Kennedy2 said: “Everywhere, immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.” An immigrant is a person of foreign birth who is granted the right to permanently live in the United States of America. A legal immigrant has a document known as a “Green Card”, the legal name of which is an “alien registration receipt card”. Legal immigrants can, after 5 years of lawful residence (3 years if married to an American citizen), become full citizens of the U.S.A., if they want. Every child born to a mother living in the United States automatically becomes a citizen. Once a citizen of the U.S.A., an immigrant can vote in U.S.A. elections and run for some elective offices. Currently, according to the U.S.A. Constitution, a foreign-born citizen may not become President of the United States. America has been called the “melting pot” because its entire population is comprised of immigrants and descendents of immigrants with the following exceptions: These words are the last lines of a poem, which is graven on a tablet within the pedestal on which the statue of Liberty stands as she watches the boats, some carrying immigrants, sailing into New York Harbor. The ideal expressed is an immigration policy whereby America welcomes the less fortunate seeking opportunities, the oppressed seeking asylum, displaced citizens of other countries, and high-value employees to learn, innovate, re-settle, grow businesses and industries, and work in the fields. They come to feed themselves, their families and the country to which they have come. Immigration has been America’s most stimulating social force and the source of its dominant cultural strength---diversity---as two of America’s most English Speaking Countries Today – America Unit Two 2 What is left of the indigenous people (Native Americans) who were already there when the first settlers came to America from England in 1620. The descendents of the Africans (African Americans) who were brought to America as “unwilling immigrants” to work as slaves. The indigenous peoples of Alaska and Hawaii, the two non-contiguous and most recently admitted states. The “melting pot” metaphor refers to the assimilation of immigrants into American culture. The “melting pot”, or the amalgam of humanity contained within it, is the essence of American society. America has no truer national treasure, nor stronger authentic native culture, than the combination of diverse immigrant influences and the American values of democracy, freedom, entrepreneurism, hard work and innovation. From Open Borders to Restrictions Before the American Civil War (1861-1865), American borders were open and almost anyone could immigrate. Immigration was a normal aspect of the American way of life and any restrictions on the admission of immigrants, for example excluding, prostitutes, persons previously sentenced to jail in their homeland, and diseased people, were meant not to control the number of immigrants, but to safeguard the well-being and morality of an emerging nation. During the American Civil War, the federal government helped fill its roster of troops by encouraging emigration from Europe. In return for service in the Union army3, immigrants were offered grants of land. By 1865, about one in five Union soldiers was a wartime immigrant. The first restriction on immigration was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banning the immigration of Chinese into the U.S.A., which remained in force till 1943. This ban on Chinese immigration came about because Americans thought the Chinese, who would work for lower wages in inferior conditions, were a threat to their standard of living. This became the model for other immigration restrictions---not all of them total bans---placed on other nationalities. Although these restrictions were ostensibly due to economic concerns, they were also often racist in nature. Other concerns such as national security also had an effect on immigration restrictions over time. After 1882, hundreds of American immigration policies known as immigration reform measures were enacted, amended, repealed and revised by the government. Anti-immigrant factions clamored for immigration to be more restricted to protect the quality of American life. Immigration advocates fought to keep immigration more open, fairer and more humane because those principles were the guiding forces of American life and because although some short term social and economic problems could be attributed to immigration, the long term effects of immigration were always constructive. American Immigrations http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/ Immigration/who_are_the_immigrants.html English Speaking Countries Today – America Unit Two 3 The Quota System Peaks/waves of immigration http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/Immigration/waves_of _immigration.html - 1607-1830 After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, suspicion of foreigners and nationalism produced another series of laws to limit the flow of immigrants through the early 1920s. About 60% of the world’s immigrants entered the United States between 1820 and 1930. The new availability of steamship travel with its less expensive steerage class (3rd class) and the rising population of other developed countries contributed to this massive influx. America gained a cheap workforce with a high birthrate and this, together with agricultural and industrial expansion, created rapid economic development. Post-War Refugees and War Brides After World War II, President Truman4 urged Congress to turn its attention to thousands of homeless and suffering foreigners. During the war, ships carrying Jewish refugees from Europe had actually been turned back. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948, granted refugees entry into the United States. Since then, individuals who fear persecution if forced to return to their countries may seek asylum in the United States. The U.S.A. law relating to refugees and asylum is part of the general immigration laws, which are enforced by officials of the Justice, State and Labor Departments. New laws permitting the immigration of war brides and their children allowed hundreds of thousands of families to reunite. Millions of political refugees have been admitted into the U.S.A. since World War II. Every year, men, women and children come to American shores seeking safe haven from political and social persecution. A person who is granted asylum may apply for permanent residence and may eventually become a U.S.A. Citizen. The U.S.A. is bound by both international and domestic law to open its doors to those who have a “well-founded fear of persecution” because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. The most common and influential types of restrictive immigration legislation consisted of quota acts, whereby immigration was restricted by national origin. In 1921 the first Quota Act was signed into law, limiting admission of each nationality to 3% of its representation in the U.S.A. Census of 1910. This had the effect of increasing the size of ethnic groups that already had larger populations than others. English Speaking Countries Today – America Unit Two 4 Easing of Immigration Restrictions The Immigration Act of 1965 discontinued the quotas based on national origin. National quotas were replaced with hemispheric ones. It also formally gave preference to those wishing to immigrate who had immediate relatives (spouses, parents and children under 21) who were U.S.A. citizens. Other family members wishing to immigrate have somewhat diminished preference. Immigrants who are not related to current U.S.A. citizens are admitted by their skills and professions rather than by their nationality. A certain number of visas are issued by lottery each year to citizens of nations with a low rate of immigration to the U.S.A. Immigrant visas are granted in the order that applications are submitted and when the number of applicants reach the limit for that category, those not getting a visa for the year they applied are put on a waiting list. Preference is also given to applicants with professional skills needed in the United States, and investors. In 1978, hemispheric quotas were abolished in favor of a worldwide limit. Within 5 years, Asian immigration more than quadrupled. Today, Asian Americans are one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the country. About 10 million people of Asian descent live in the United States. Although most of them have immigrated recently, they are among the most successful of all immigrant groups. They have a higher income than many other ethnic groups, and large numbers of their children study at the best American universities. Overall immigration to the United States has expanded since 1965, and the 1980s saw the highest level of new immigrants since the first decades of the 20th century. In 1998 The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act increased the number of skilled temporary foreign workers U.S.A. employers are allowed to bring into the country. Immigration to the U.S.A. continues to accelerate. In the 1990s, some 11.2 million immigrants came to the United States. They and their 6.4 million children accounted for almost 70% of U.S.A. population growth over the decade, according to the U.S.A. Census. In 2000, the top 10 points of origin for immigrants were Mexico (173,900), China (45,700), the Major camps for Jewish displaced persons, 1945-1946 http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId =10005462 English Speaking Countries Today – America Unit Two 5 Philippines (42,500), India (42,000), Vietnam (26,700), Nicaragua (24,000), El Salvador (22,600), Haiti (22,400), Cuba (20,800), and the Dominican Republic (17,500). The Center for Immigration Studies found that 2.3 million immigrants had joined the workforce since 2000, and that contrary to public perception, immigration had not slackened since the Sept. 11th, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Steve Camorata of the Center for Immigration Studies noted that “There hasn’t been a slowdown [in immigration]. People may have to wait a little longer in some countries to come here, but many have waited for years so it makes little difference. They are still coming.” In 2002, Latin America and Caribbean countries accounted for 40% to 45% of legal immigration to the United States. Another 35% came from Asia with Europe, Australia and the Middle East accounting for the rest. The United States has welcomed more immigrants than any other country---more than 50 million in all---and still admits between 500,000 and 1 million persons a year. Illegal Immigrants The 1996 Illegal Immigration and Reform Responsibility Act led to massive deportations of illegal immigrants. There are an estimated 8 million to 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. These are immigrants who make their way through inadequately guarded borders, those who have entered the U.S.A. with non-immigrant visas (such as student visas or temporary visas for business or leisure travel) and did not return to their native counties when these visas expired, and those in the country with counterfeit documents. Many industries, particularly the agricultural sector, need illegal immigrants, known as undocumented workers. As a result, there are millions of undocumented workers living, working and paying taxes, whose status remains indefinite. In 1986, Congress passed legislation that sought to limit the numbers of undocumented or illegal aliens living in America, imposing stiff fines on employers who hired them and giving legal status to aliens who had already lived in the United States for some time (amnesty). Advocates of illegal immigrants cite economic and humanitarian reasons to pass legislation in their favor. Legal vs. illegal immigrants http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/Immigration/ legal_vs_illegal.html Those opposed to illegal immigrants say that this would only encourage more illegal immigration and disadvantage those waiting to enter the country legally. There are now so many illegal Latin American immigrants in the United States that they represent a political force even though they can’t vote, because many legal immigrants from the same countries are in favor of legalizing them. English Speaking Countries Today – America Unit Two 6 Immigrant Rights Even before acquiring full citizenship, immigrants in the United States are entitled to full protection of their basic rights under the constitution, such as the right to trial by jury. The U.S.A. Constitution protects all citizens, immigrants included, from discrimination based on race and national origin and from arbitrary treatment by the government. Legal immigrants are subject to the military draft, at those times when there is a draft. Once in the country, even undocumented immigrants have the right to freedom of speech and religion, the right to be treated fairly, the right to privacy, and all other fundamental rights U.S.A. citizens enjoy. When these rights are violated, and it does happen, there is recourse through the legal system. However, illegal immigrants are subject to deportation. All children of immigrants, legal or illegal, are entitled to free education in U.S.A. public schools. Assistance and services are provided by many private nationality-based, community and religious charities as well as legal foundations such as the Americans Civil Liberties Union. There is an entire body of immigration law, and many attorneys specializing in immigration issues who can assist in the process of obtaining entry to the U.S.A. Restrictions and hardships aside, more people want to immigrate to America than anywhere else. Once there, if they have valid complaints and issues about how they are treated, there are both private and government agencies to help them.
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