A Nation of Immigrants, written while John F. Kennedy was still a senator, espouses reform of exclusionary immigration policies. After Kennedy was elected president of the United States in 1960, he called on Congress to reform immigration law.
In 1958, the
John F. Kennedy.
For Kennedy, the leveling effects of Old World oppression shaped the egalitarian nature of American democracy, built upon successive waves of immigration. In the book, Kennedy skirts the economic issues associated with cheap immigrant labor, but he eloquently documents the abuses of nineteenth and twentieth century nativist movements. He summarizes exclusionary U.S. immigration policy from the
Giglio, James. The Presidency of John F. Kennedy. 2d ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006. Kennedy, John F. A Nation of Immigrants. Expanded ed. Introduction by Edward Kennedy. Foreword by Abraham Foxman. New York: HarperPerennial, 2008. Melhman, Ira. “John F. Kennedy and Immigration Reform.” The Social Contract 1, no. 4 (Summer, 1991): 201-206.
Commission on Immigration Reform, U.S.
Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
Melting pot theory
Naturalization Act of 1790