Ted Kennedy had been in the Senate for less than three years when he was given the important job of pushing a bill which hoped to ban the quota system surrounding United States immigration policy. The quota system in question had made it impossible for any immigrant originating from anywhere but western Europe to come to America legally.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 became the door which many Latin American immigrants used to enter the United States. The number of immigrants who came to America was so high that it permanently altered the immigration demographic. To this day, the largest number of immigrants in the United States originate from Latin American countries.
There were many immigration policies that took place under Kennedy’s guidance. One of them, passed in 1980, created a system for resettlement of refugees in the United States. The number of immigrants who qualified under this bill tripled under Kennedy’s plan. In 1986, Kennedy helped pass a bill that granted amnesty to roughly 2.7 million illegal immigrants in the United States. The same bill also was responsible for punishments against employers who hired illegal immigrants. Latest immigration news reports that this immigration policy will be responsible for laying the groundwork for President Obama’s proposed immigration reform bill, which hopes to accomplish the same things on a larger scale.
The final important immigration policy that Kennedy helped with was a 1990 bill that changed the immigration system for legal immigrants, allowing for more highly skilled immigrant workers to enter the American workforce.
The most important immigration policy that Kennedy tried and failed to get passed was a bill that would have given roughly 12 million illegal immigrants a quick path to citizenship as well as fixing problems within the system for prosecuting employers who hired illegal immigrants, which he worked on with former President George Bush and Senator John McCain