US Immigration Laws

Who Invented

Summary of the US Immigration Laws History
Summary: The US Immigration Laws History provides a timeline, facts and information on this important subject. Prior to 1890, the individual states, rather than the Federal government, passed laws and regulated immigration into the United States of America. The 1875 Page Act was the first of the restrictive federal immigration laws and banned the entry of immigrants considered "undesirable".

The year 1882 saw the largest number of immigrants, nearly 1 million, in American history and in response the government began to develop a national immigration policy and Congress began to pass immigration laws. This article provides a  timeline and interesting facts about the history of US Immigration Laws. The dates of the laws and the purpose of each of the US Immigration laws are described in the history timeline.

   
  

First Ellis Island Building

US Immigration Laws History: The Ellis Island Building
 

US Immigration Laws History: Immigration Laws
Immigration to the United States into three major waves. Early immigration (1700s - 1850), Second wave (1850 - 1970) and Recent immigration (1970 - present).

US Immigration Laws were passed during each of these periods and the laws reflected the government policy of the period

Due to the massive influx of immigrants in the late 1800's Laws were passed to regulate and restrict immigration to the US.

The Ellis Island center in New York opened on January 1, 1892 where immigrants from Europe entered the United States

The Angel Island Station in San Francisco Bay opened on January 21, 1910 where immigrants from China, Japan and Asia,  entered the United States.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline: Facts for kids
Interesting US History of Immigration Laws Timeline and facts for kids are detailed below. These important federal laws determine who may enter the United States, how long they can stay, their status, their rights and duties whilst they are in the United States, and how they can become resident aliens or American citizens. The US History of Immigration Laws is told in a factual sequence consisting of Fact Sheet with a series of short facts providing a simple and fast overview of US Immigration Laws History. For additional facts and information refer to the Push and Pull Factors of Immigration.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline: Laws and Facts for kids

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 1: 1789 - Under the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress has complete authority over immigration.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 2: 1819 - The Immigration Act of 1819 provided standards for vessels bringing immigrants. Ship captains had to provide customs officials with a list of immigrants detailing the age, sex and occupation of passengers, where they came from and their destination. Passengers ill with contagious diseases had to be quarantined.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 3: 1848 - Articles VIII and IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo granted U.S. citizenship to Mexicans living in the territory ceded by Mexico to the United States. The treaty explicitly guaranteed Mexican Americans "the right to their property, language, and culture."

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 4: 1875 - The Page Act was the first restrictive federal immigration law and prohibited the entry of immigrants considered "undesirable".

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 5: 1882 - The Chinese Exclusion Act banned the immigration of laborers from China for ten years

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 6: 1882 - The Immigration Act of 1882 restricted immigrants from Europe and made several categories of immigrants ineligible entry into the United States. It also imposed a 'head tax'  of 50 cents on all immigrants landing at US ports

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 7: 1885 - The Alien Contract Labor Law (the Foran Act) prohibited any company or individual from bringing unskilled foreigners (aliens) into the United States under contract to work for them. The only exceptions are those immigrants brought to perform domestic service and skilled workmen needed to help establish a new trade or industry in the US

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 8: 1886 - The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor and would become the famous landmark for all European immigrants on the last leg of their journey from Europe to Ellis Island and a new life in  America. The picture depicts immigrants with the Statue of Liberty in the distance, many of whom would be concerned that would pass the tests that would enable them to enter the country.

Iimmigrants arriving at Ellis Island see the Statue of Liberty

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 9: 1890 - The individual States turned over the control of immigration to the Federal Government.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 10: 1891 - The 1891 Act establishes the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration within the Treasury Department imposing stringent standards of admissibility. The law bans “mentally disturbed persons, persons suffering from a ‘loathsome or contagious’ disease, paupers, persons convicted of a felony or infamous crime or misdemeanor of moral turpitude and polygamists."

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 11: 1892 - The Act of 1891 increased government regulation of immigration and established a
Commissioner of Immigration in the Treasury Department responsible carrying out carrying out the inspection and deportation of immigrants

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 12: 1892 - The first Federal immigration center was opened January 1, 1892 on Ellis Island where European immigrants were subjected to medical and legal examinations detailed in the Ellis Island Inspection Process.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 13: 1892 - The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was extended by the 1892 Geary Act

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 14: 1903 - Following the President McKinley Assassination in 1901 by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz, Congress enacted the Anarchist Exclusion Act, prohibiting the entry of people judged to be anarchists and political extremists.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 15: 1906 - The Naturalization Act of 1906 establishes the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization in the Commerce Department to standardizes naturalization procedures. The law also requires that some knowledge of the English language is a requirement for citizenship.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 16: 1907 - The Immigration Act of 1907 was part of a series of reforms aimed at further restricting the increasing number of immigrants. The Dillingham Commission was formed in response to growing political concern about the effects of immigration in the US. The subsequent Dillingham Commission report discriminated between Old and New Immigration which led to further  stringent and specific immigration restrictions.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 17: 1910 - The Angel Island Immigration Station opened where immigrants from China, Japan and Asia were inspected before entry was allowed into the United States.

● In 1910 a national system was formed specifically to regulate Asian immigration

Angel Island Immigration Station

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 18: 1915 - The Mexican Revolution started in 1910 and many Mexicans sought escape to America. In 1915 US Congress Authorized "Mounted Inspectors" along the US-Mexico Border

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 19: 1917 - The Immigration Act of 1917 (aka the Barred Zone Act) restricted immigration from Eastern Asia, except for Japan and the Philippines, by creating an "Asiatic Barred Zone". The law also introduced a reading test for all immigrants over 14 years of age

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 20: 1921 - The 1921 Emergency Quota Act (or percentage laws) used of quota system to establish limits and restricted the number of immigrants from a given country (3% of the number of residents from that same country living in the United States based on the 1910 U.S. Census)

Continued...

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline: Laws and Facts for kids

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline: Facts for kids
The History of Immigration Laws and Timeline continue with facts about laws for kids. Discover, facts, and dates about important federal laws that dictated the emigration policy of the United States.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline: Laws and Facts for kids

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 21: 1922 - The Married Woman's Act, aka the Cable Act, stated that any female US Citizen who married an alien ineligible for citizenship would then lose her own citizenship

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 21: 1924 - The Border Patrol was established to combat smuggling and illegal immigration. Border stations are established to formally admit Mexican workers - see Mexican Immigration

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 22: 1924 - The National Origins Act of 1924, part of the Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson-Reed Act, restricted the number of immigrants from a given country to 2% of the number of residents from that same country living in the United States - the 'Golden Door' to America was shut. 87% of permits go to immigrants from Britain, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 23: 1930 - Congress passed an act providing for the admission of women who were married to US citizens before 1924.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 24: 1934 - The Tydings-McDuffie Act provided for Philippine independence, and changed the status of Filipinos from American citizens to aliens

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 25: 1940 - The outbreak of WW2 led to the Alien Registration Act that required the registration and fingerprinting of all aliens in the United States over the age of 14 years old. Another objective of the laws was to undermine the American Communist Party.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 26: 1943 - The Magnusan Act repealed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 27: 1943 - The Bracero Program brought 5,000,000 temporary Mexican Laborers to Work in US farms and railroads in a 22-Year period to help the economy during and after WW2

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 28: 1945 - The War Brides and Fiancées Acts were laws that allowed an estimated 1,000,000 American Soldiers to bring their foreign spouses to America.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 29: 1948 - The Displaced Persons Act allowed people uprooted by WW2 to immigrate to United States.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 30: 1952 - The McCarran-Walter bill reorganized the structure of immigration laws.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 31: 1965 - The Hart-Celler Act abolished nation-of-origin restrictions.

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 32: 1975 - The Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act. These laws allowed Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians recruited by the US in the war against communism were admitted to the US as displaced citizens

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 33: 1980 - The Refugee Act of 1980 allowed persecuted Individuals to seek asylum in the United States

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 34: 1986 - The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) granted Legal Status to qualifying Immigrants who entered the US illegally before January 1, 1982

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 35: 1987 - The Amerasian Homecoming Act allowed children of U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese women Children to immigrate to the United States

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 36: 1990 - The Immigration Act of 1990 revised all grounds for exclusion and deportation and increased the limits on legal immigration to the United States

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 37: 1996 - Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act tightens immigration to protect against terrorism following the attacks on Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 38: 2002 - The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act were laws passed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, representing the most comprehensive immigration-related response to the continuing terrorist threat America

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 39: 2005 - The REAL ID Act Expanded Laws for Asylum and Deportation of Foreigners for Terrorist Activity

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 40: 2006 - The Secure Fence Act authorized fencing along the US-Mexican Border and authorized the use of surveillance technology

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline Fact 41: 2013 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act provided for a temporary visa for undocumented immigrants who are the victims of domestic abuse

US History of Immigration Laws Timeline: Laws and Facts for kids

DISCLAIMER: This website and any information contained herein are intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel from an Immigration lawyer for advice on any legal matter.

Push and Pull Factors
For visitors interested in the subject of immigration refer to our website on Push and Pull Factors of Immigration which provides details of why people left their homes in various countries and moved to the United States.

US Immigration Laws History: United States History for Kids - Video of US Presidents
The article on the US Immigrant Laws History provides detailed facts and a summary of the most important events during the history of immigration and migrants in the United States
- a crash course in American History and Immigration laws. The following video will give you additional important facts, history and dates about the personal and political lives of all the US Presidents.

US Immigration Laws History

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