Prof Lauren Conj
Comm 301
15 November 2015
Fifty years ago today, Ted Kennedy began changing the face of the United States by ushering the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act through Congress. That legislation resulted in the fundamental transformation of the demographic, economic, social, and political landscape of nation, exactly the opposite of what its supporters promised.
The Kennedy immigration law abolished the national origins quota system, which had favored immigrants from nations with a similar heritage to our own, and opened up American immigration visas to the entire world.
While about nine in ten of the immigrants who came to the United States during the 19th and 20th century hailed from Europe, the 1965 law inverted that figure. Today about 9 out of every 10 new immigrants brought into the country on green cards come from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.
The size of the numbers also grew exponentially as well. According to Pew Research Center, 59 million immigrants entered the United States following the Actís passage. Including their children, that added 72 million new residents to the U.S. population.
In 1965, according to Pew, the country was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent Asian.
In 2015, as a result of Kennedyís immigration law, the country is now 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian.