||Congress adopts uniform rules so that any
free white person could apply for citizenship after two
years of residency.
and Sedition Acts required 14 years of residency before
citizenship and provided for the deportation of "dangerous"
aliens. Changed to five-year residency in 1800.
||First significant federal legislation on
immigration. Includes reporting of immigration and rules
for passengers from US ports bound for Europe
|| Irish of all classes emigrate to the United
States as a result of the potato famine.
||Dred Scott decision declared free Africans
||Contract Labor Law allowed recruiting of
||African Americans gained citizenship with
||Henderson v. Mayor of New York decision
declared all state laws governing immigration unconstitutional;
Congress must regulate "foreign commerce." Charity workers,
burdened with helping immigrants, petition Congress to
exercise authority and regulate immigration. Congress
prohibits convicts and prostitutes from entering the country.
||The U.S. population is 50,155,783. More
than 5.2 million immigrants enter the country between
1880 and 1890.
Exclusion Act. First federal immigration law suspended
Chinese immigration for 10 years and barred Chinese in
U.S. from citizenship. Also barred convicts, lunatics,
and others unable to care for themselves from entering.
Head tax placed on immigrants.
||Contract Labor Law. Unlawful to import
unskilled aliens from overseas as laborers. Regulations
did not pertain to those crossing land borders.
||For the first time since 1798, provisions
are adopted for expulsion of aliens.
Addams founds Hull-House on Chicago's Near West Side.
||Foreign-born in US were 15% of population
(14% in Vermont); more arriving from southern and eastern
Europe ("new immigrants") than northern and western ("old
Jacob Riis publishes "How the Other Half Lives."
||Bureau of Immigration established under
the Treasury Department. More classes of aliens restricted
including those who were monetarily assisted by others
for their passage. Steamship companies were ordered to
return ineligible immigrants to countries of origin.
Island opened to screen immigrants entering on east
coast. (Angel Island screened those on west coast.) Ellis
Island officials reported that women traveling alone must
be met by a man, or they were immediately deported.
||Chinese Exclusion Act renewed indefinitely.
||Anarchists, epileptics, polygamists, and
beggars ruled inadmissible.
||Construction of Angel
Island Immigration Station began in the area known
as China Cove. Surrounded by public controversy from its
inception, the station was finally put into operation
in 1910. Although it was billed as the "Ellis Island of
the West", within the Immigration Service it was known
as "The Guardian of the Western Gate" and was designed
control the flow of Chinese into the country, who were
officially not welcome with the passage of the Chinese
Exclusion Act of 1882.
||Procedural safeguards enacted for naturalization.
Knowledge of English becomes a basic requirement.
||Head tax is raised. People with physical
or mental defects, tuberculosis, and children unaccompanied
by a parent are added to the exclusion list. Japan agreed
to limit emigrants to US in return for elimination of
segregating Japanese students in San Francisco schools.
Report from Congress assumed inferiority of "new immigrants"
from southern and eastern Europe and suggested a literacy
test to restrict their entry. (William P. Dillingham was
a Senator from Vermont.)
|| Immigration Act provided for literacy
tests for those over 16 and established an "Asiatic Barred
Zone," which barred all immigrants from Asia.
||Quota Act of 1921 limited immigrants to
3% of each nationality present in the US in 1910. This
cut southern and eastern European immigrants to less than
1/4 of those in US before WW I. Asians still barred; no
limits on western hemisphere. Non-quota category established:
wives, children of citizens, learned professionals, and
domestic servants not counted in quotas.
||Japanese made ineligible for citizenship.
changed to 2% of each nationality based on numbers in
US in 1890. Based on surnames (many anglicized at Ellis
Island) and not the census figures, 82% of all immigrants
allowed in the country came from western and northern
Europe, 16% from southern and eastern Europe, 2% from
the rest of the world. As no distinctions were made
between refugees and immigrants, this limited Jewish
emigres during 1930s and 40s.
Despite protests from many native people, Native Americans
made citizens of the United States. Border Patrol established.
||The annual quotas of the 1924 Act are made
||Provided for finger printing and registering
of all aliens.
||In the name of unity among the Allies,
the Chinese Exclusion Laws were repealed, and China's
quota was set at a token 105 immigrants annually. Basis
of the Bracero Program established with importation of
agricultural workers from North, South, and Central America.
||Procedures adopted to facilitate immigration
of foreign-born wives, finace(e)s, husbands, and children
of US armed forces personnel.
||Displaced Persons Act allowed 205,000 refugees
over two years; gave priority to Baltic States refugees;
admitted as quota immigrants. Technical provisions discriminated
against Catholics and Jews; those were dropped in 1953,
and 205,000 refugees were accepted as non-quota immigrants.
||The grounds for exclusion and deportation
are expanded. All aliens required to report their addresses
and Nationality Act eliminated race as a bar to immigration
or citizenship. Japan's quota was set at 185 annually.
China's stayed at 105; other Asian countries were given
100 a piece. Northern and western Europe's quota was placed
at 85% of all immigrants. Tighter restrictions were placed
on immigrants coming from British colonies in order to
stem the tide of black West Indians entering under Britain's
generous quota. Non-quota class enlarged to include husbands
of American women.
||The 1948 refugee law expanded to admit
200,000 above the existing limit
||Hart-Celler Act abolished national origins
quotas, establishing separate ceilings for the eastern
(170,000) and western (120,000) hemispheres (combined
in 1978). Categories of preference based on family ties,
critical skills, artistic excellence, and refugee status.
||Separate ceilings for Western and Eastern
hemispheric immigration combined into a worldwide limit
|| The Refugee
Act removes refugees as a preference category; reduces
worldwide ceiling for immigration to 270,000.
||Immigration Reform and Control Act provided
for amnesty for many illegal aliens and sanctions for
employers hiring illegals.
||A bill gives permanent status to non-immigrant
registered nurses who have lived in US for at least three
years and met established certification standards.
|| Immigration Act of 1990 limited unskilled
workers to 10,000/year; skilled labor requirements and
immediate family reunification major goals. Continued
to promote nuclear family model. Foreign-born in US was
Patriot Act amended the Immigration and Nationality
Act to broaden the scope of aliens ineligible for admission
or deportable due to terrorist activities to include an
alien who: (1) is a representative of a political, social,
or similar group whose political endorsement of terrorist
acts undermines U.S. antiterrorist efforts; (2) has used
a position of prominence to endorse terrorist activity,
or to persuade others to support such activity in a way
that undermines U.S. antiterrorist efforts (or the child
or spouse of such an alien under specified circumstances);
or (3) has been associated with a terrorist organization
and intends to engage in threatening activities while
in the United States.