Immigration to the United States has brought growth and prosperity, but also suffering and discrimination throughout the ages. The largest era of immigration was in the 1800s when people from around the world surged into the United States. A larger percentage of the population immigrated to the US in the 1800s than ever before. Around 12 million came from Ireland, Southern Europe, and East Asia. Many came from Ireland due to the potato famine, which caused many families to starve to death. Others came to America for economic reasons. The immigrants saw America as an opportunity for a better life. Immigration to Los Angeles halted during the early 1900s due to the Great Depression. People who aspired to come to the City of Angels did not have the money to immigrate. However, there was a surge in immigration during World War II, especially among Jews in Europe. The Jewish population in Europe was being persecuted by the Nazis, so many escaped before the onset of the Holocaust. Today, the largest growing population is Latinx people, especially from Mexico. According to the Pew Research Center in 2015, there have been as many as 144 million immigrants from Mexico in the 21st century. Immigration has played a key role in American history, but issues are still presenting themselves.
President Trump has cracked down on illegal immigration. Laws have made it harder and harder to immigrate, and Trump’s proposed construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico isn't going to alleviate the problem. It is not efforts at the border, however, that have been most effective at keeping people out, it is the new policies that have been put in place. “In an administration that’s been perceived to be haphazard, on immigration they’ve been extremely consistent and barreling forward,” says Sarah Pierce, an analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, regarding the crackdown against illegal immigration. The number of immigrants has been significantly decreased by Trump's policy regarding stricter immigration and unique ways of deciding who gets to come in. His administration has said that immigration should be based on skills and merit, not a family-based system that allows people to bring relatives. However, despite stricter immigration, these laws also forced people into difficult situations. Many refugees fleeing from poor living conditions are forced to wait for months in camps at the border. Many are also denied a Green Card based on their wealth and social level so the United States doesn't have to support financially struggling immigrants. Many poor workers were denied solely based on their wealth, and rich immigrants were accepted even if they didn’t meet the requirements.
In June 2012, President Barack Obama launched the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, better known as DACA. DACA’s goal was to protect undocumented immigrants who crossed the border as children from the threat of deportation. DACA does not grant an undocumented person citizenship. Instead, it allows undocumented people to apply for opportunities requiring citizenship, such as driver’s licenses or work permits, without the looming threat of deportation. In a survey in 2015, 59% of DACA recipients stated they had gotten new jobs, 57% got their first driver’s license, 49% opened their first bank account, and average wages went up by 70%. President Trump repealed DACA in mid-September of 2017 as part of his crackdown on immigration. Following many challenges in court over the legality of the termination, the case was passed to the Supreme Court where a decision is supposed to be reached by summer of 2020 in the meantime the 909,700 people who are protected by DACA are left unsure on whether they will be able to stay in the country.