50 Years of “Thoughtless” Immigration Policy is Enough: It’s Time for Thoughtful Reform

Immigration_Bill_Signing_-_A1421-33a_-_10-03-1965The historian Theodore White, one of the foremost chroniclers of the Kennedy and Johnson eras, described the Immigration Act of 1965 as “probably the most thoughtless of the many acts of the Great Society.” That law, which remains the basis for our immigration policy today, resulted in “a stampede, almost an invasion,” White wrote in 1982.

This past Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of President Johnson signing the 1965 Immigration Act into law. The results of this “thoughtless” law have radically reshaped the United States over the past half century and will continue to do so even more if it remains the core of our immigration policy for another 50 years.

Because of the Immigration Act of 1965:

  • We have admitted 59 million immigrants to the country and our population is 72 million people larger than it would have otherwise been.
  • Our foreign born population has grown from 9.6 million in 1965 to nearly 45 million today.
  • We created endless chains of extended family migration. As a result, the foreign born population is generally less educated, lower skilled, and lower income. More than half of immigrant-headed households rely on some form of welfare.
  • Things will only get worse in the coming 50 years. By 2065 our foreign born population is projected to reach 78 million and immigration will be directly responsible for an additional 103 million people in our country. Nearly all of those admitted will arrive without regard to their education and skill levels.

These are the results of our legal immigration policies!

A half century of mindless mass immigration is enough. It is long past time for thoughtful immigration reform. First, we need to define a clear national interest objective for immigration and then design a policy that advances those goals.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    if we are a racist country as Hilary stated then why do so many black and brown people wNt to come hete??

    • avatar

      Because we have Laws that are respected better than anyplace else……………& the opportunities are supposed to be better….

  2. avatar
    Lawrence Schreiber on

    For years, literally years, I have argued we have two immigration problems, legal and illegal. Deal with the easiest first, legal immigration. With a stroke of the pen legal immigration can be stopped. Then deal with illegal immigration or do them simutaniously. Clarify the anchor baby issue so that it no longer is possible to acquire citizenship in that way. Get out of the United Nations and/or ignore their shoving refugees down our throats. Reconstitute real deportation. Eliminate any free stuff for immigrants and refugees.

    • avatar

      I agree with your first line but stop legal immigration….then stop the 14th amendment…..you basically have all the symptoms of any World citizen but a US one….you do not belong to the US.

      • avatar

        the refugees I agree,,,,,,if the anchor baby is no longer possible then make it retroactive and you and ll of us have to pack up and leave as well…..you have no concept of who we are…..

  3. avatar

    We need a major shake up on immigration. The forces that continue to force illegal immigration upon our nation is very well established in the Democratic Party and even some in the Republican Party. Now we have to also deal with the huge growth of Islam that is driven by what the Koran demands of Muslims. Hopefully,2016 will be the start of a reverse and the return to the rule of law as it’s established in our Constitution. There is no more wiggle room for compromise when it comes to preserving our nations’ traditions and values

  4. avatar

    “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
    Will and Ariel Durant, The Story of Civilization

    • avatar

      Well like night and day……new to old, birth to death……..or perhaps temporary immortality = Powers…….such as Spain etc….was not defeated from within, or Hitler, etc….it was by the same force they used……………

      The point being enough of philosophical facts and down to facts and efforts that will get us out the mess.

  5. avatar

    Low income, low skilled people allowed in by the tens of millions are not a formula for success for this country, because they become eligible for government assistance by virtue of their lower incomes. This is not arguable, in spite of all the “advocates” blowing smoke and pretending otherwise.

    • avatar

      Really Leland….do you have proof of that…….are you skilled….are you a white collar….thanks to this low skill we also became a power……watch what you say…..EDUCATE yourself….

    • avatar

      Leland the article says 50 years of thoughtless immigration…that means Obama and the Congress if off the HOOK!! how do you justified 50 years in the las 4-8?

    • avatar

      The ones I have seen especially at the professional level…..are smarter than the both of you Leland and SW….the low level skill ones also better than the average person…..so in 300 years we will better off……..however I one thing I see is that they contribute to our future benefits BUT the difference is that these guys also will become citizens……the Corporations are no longer from here…..so that is a bigger issue……

      • avatar

        what I just said is a fact……..simply a complex issue….you guys are simply a white & black point of view….no gutts no dexterity nor…..etc etc etc