What was the 1965 Immigration Act

 

 U.S. Immigration policy

    year

Immigration legislation

1790The legislation provides that immigrants can only be naturalized after a minimum of two years.1819Ship captains are required to keep lists of the names of the immigrants and to submit them on arrival in the USA.1875The first exclusive legislation is enacted. Convicts and prostitutes are no longer allowed to immigrate.1882Immigration Act. Immigration from China is limited. Former convicts, the mentally handicapped and those unable to take care of themselves will be excluded. An immigration tax is levied.1891The Office of Immigration will be established as a division of the Treasury.1892Ellis Island opens.1903Politically radical people, epileptics and professional beggars are excluded from immigration.1907

Mentally disabled people, people with tuberculosis, people with physical or mental defects and unaccompanied young people under 16 are excluded from immigration. The immigration tax will be increased.

1910Immigration will be banned from criminals, the poor and the sick.1917Immigrants over the age of 16 are required to take a literacy test.1921Immigration Act. Annual immigration is limited to 350,000 people. Quotas will be introduced for each nationality.1924Immigration Act. Annual immigration is limited to 165,000 people.1927

Annual immigration will be reduced to 150,000. The nationality quota is set at 2% of the number of members of that nationality as counted in the 1920 census. This law remained in force until 1965.

1929Annual immigration is finally set at 150,000. 70% of the quota is reserved for immigrants from northern and western Europe, 30% for immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.1943Immigration restrictions for Chinese are lifted.1948Displaced Persons Act (D.Ps). First United States law specifically enacted for refugees.1950Communists are denied immigration. (Internal Security Act).1952

The McCarran-Walter Act combines earlier immigration laws. The "race" category as an exclusion criterion will be removed. An ideological criterion for immigration is introduced: immigrants and visitors to the USA can be denied access due to their ideological attitude (e.g. if they are communists). The national quotas are retained. Special categories are introduced for skilled workers and for relatives of American citizens and resident alien workers.

1965Immigration and Nationality Act is changed. The national quotas will be abolished.1980Refugee Act. People fleeing communism and refugees from the Middle East are no longer given preferential treatment.1986Immigration and Control Act. Amnesty is granted to illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since 1982. Sanctions are introduced against employers who employ illegal workers.1990Immigration Act. The immigration quotas will be increased.1996

Immigration Act. To combat illegal immigration, Congress is doubling the number of U.S. Border controls. Fences are to be erected in the most heavily used areas of the U.S.-Mexico border, and President Clinton signed a welfare bill that removes many programs for immigrants.

    Source: http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/statistics/legishist/index.htm 
 
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Updated: April 2006