Us Quota Laws from the 1920S until the 1960S

  • Beitrags-Autor:
  • Beitrags-Kategorie:Allgemein

A further modification of the quota changed the basis for calculating quotas. The rate was based on the number of people born outside the United States or the number of immigrants to the United States. The new law traced the origins of the entire American population, including naturally born citizens. The new quota calculations included a large number of people of British origin whose families had lived in the United States for a long time. As a result, the percentage of visas available for people from the British Isles and Western Europe has increased, but recent immigration from other regions such as Southern and Eastern Europe has been limited. The Chinese diaspora, which began in the 1800s, was so large that virtually every major city in the world — from New York to London, Montreal and Lima — has a neighborhood called „Chinatown.“ Chinese immigration to the United States dates back to the mid-19th century. Read more In reality (and in retrospect), the law signed in 1965 marks a radical break with previous immigration policy and will have immediate and lasting effects. Instead of the national quota system, the law provided that preferences could be made by category, such as parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, people with skills deemed useful in the United States, or refugees from violence or civil unrest.

Although it abolished quotas as such, the system set limits on immigration per country and total immigration, as well as ceilings for each category. As in the past, family reunification was a major goal, and the new immigration policy would increasingly allow entire families to uproot themselves from other countries and rebuild their lives in the United States. Until the end of the 19th century, there was no „illegal“ or „legal“ immigration to the United States. Because before you can immigrate illegally somewhere, there has to be a law that you have to break. American immigration did not begin until the late 1700s. In the 1970s and early 1980s, new laws focused primarily on the growing flow of refugees from Southeast Asia. Since then, concerns about illegal immigration have guided the country`s immigration policy. In 1986, Congress addressed the Immigration Reform and Control Act with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which provided temporary protection from deportation and lawful permanent resident status to millions of people who had lived in the country since the 1980s. About 2.7 million people have been granted legal status under the general legalization of the law or its special program for agricultural workers. Instead, the new law focused on visas for family and employment categories, but exempted spouses, parents, and minor children of U.S. citizens from these visa restrictions.

This exemption, and other priorities given to family members of U.S. citizens, meant that about three-quarters of visas were reserved for relatives of those already in the U.S., which emphasized U.S. immigration policy on family reunification. In 1917, the U.S. Congress enacted the first largely restrictive immigration law. The uncertainty created about national security during World War I allowed Congress to pass this law, and it contained several important provisions that paved the way for the 1924 law. The 1917 Act introduced a literacy test that required immigrants over the age of 16 to demonstrate a basic reading comprehension in each language. It also increased taxes paid by new immigrants upon arrival, allowing immigration officers greater discretion in deciding who to exclude.

Finally, the law prohibited anyone born in a geographically defined „Asian exclusion zone,“ with the exception of Japanese and Filipinos. In 1907, the Japanese government voluntarily restricted Japanese immigration to the United States in the Gentleman`s Agreement. The Philippines was an American colony, so its citizens were American citizens and were free to travel to the United States. China has not been included in the no-go zone, but Chinese have already been denied immigrant visas under China`s exclusion law. Long-standing immigration bans from Asia were lifted in the 1940s and 1950s. A Chinese immigration ban issued in 1882 was lifted in 1943. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 included the first, albeit low, quotas allowed to immigrants from Asian countries and created a preferential quota visa system that included highly skilled workers for the first time. The visa regime in place when the 1965 law was passed was a legacy of half a century earlier.

By this time, a huge wave of immigration that began in the late 1800s had brought the country`s foreign-born population to a record high of 13.9 million in 1920, accounting for nearly 13% of the U.S. population (Gibson and Jung, 2006; Passel and Cohn 2008).5 The first arrivals in this wave were mainly northern Europeans, but in the early 1900s most newcomers came from Italy, Poland and elsewhere in southern and eastern Europe (Martin 2011). The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, abolished an earlier quota system based on national origin and established a new immigration policy based on bringing immigrant families closer together and attracting skilled workers to the United States. Over the next four decades, the policy, which went into effect in 1965, would significantly alter the demographic composition of the U.S. population, as immigrants entering the U.S. under the new legislation increasingly came from countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as opposed to Europe. Although the original national quotas of the 1920s were abolished, the new 1965 law included global quotas for the hemisphere and countries. Although hemispheric quotas were abandoned in the following decade (Martin, 2011). It is important to note that the law imposed the first restrictions on immigration from countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Mexico. These restrictions, combined with the end of the Bracero program in 1964, are associated with an increase in unauthorized immigration, primarily from Mexico.7 Ellis Island is a historic site that opened as an immigration station in 1892, a purpose it served for more than 60 years until it closed in 1954.

Located at the mouth of the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, Ellis Island has welcomed millions of newly arrived immigrants. Scholars attribute the passage of the 1965 Act in part to the civil rights movement of the time, which created a climate conducive to changing laws permitting racial or ethnic discrimination, as well as the growing influence of groups with restricted immigration (Martin, 2011). The economy was healthy and allayed fears that immigrants were competing with U.S.-born workers (Reimers 1992). However, some say geopolitical factors were more important, especially the image of the United States. abroad at a time of Cold War competition with Russia (FitzGerald and Cook-Martin, 2015).