• 1790

    Congress passed a law defining who could become a citizen if a person was not born here. Citizenship was possible only for someone who was a "free white person". This barred any African or Asian immigrants from becoming a citizen.
  • 1880 and 1920

    Between 1880 and 1920 was the heaviest immgration for America. Some 25 million immigrants arrived , most came from the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe. These were parts of the world that was unfamiliar to many Americans.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    Congress passed this act that stated no Chinese laborer could enter the United States for 10 years. Chinese professionals were still allowed to immigrate though. This act was renewed several times until World War II when the China was an ally.
  • Quota Act of 1921

    Congress set up quotas favoring immigrants from northwestern Euorpe; the Immigration Act of 1924 expands the quota system; immigration from any country is limited to 2 percent of its total numbers in the 1890 census.
  • Immigration Act of 1924

    Congress took a more drastic step in 1924 when they introduced a quota system by country. This formula favored groups taht had been in the United States for a long time.
  • Immigration Reform Act 1965

    This Act was inspired largely by the civil rights movements and its ideal of equality and social justice. This act abolished the quota system based on national origin. The new law was driven by two principles:reunifying families and giving priority to certain skills.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986

    This act had a dual purpose. Reagan wanted to slow illegal immigration by punishing employers who knowingly hired undocumentated immigrants. Second, he wanted to offer a way for long term, undocumented immigrants to become legal. If immigrants could show the entered the Unites States before January 1982 and lived here continuously they could apply for amnesty.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    More than 80 percent of immgrants came from Asia and Latin America. Congress did not want and one country from making up most of its immigrants in the United States
  • Immigration Reform Act of 1996

    This act increased border patrol staff, and stiffiened penalties for creating false citizenship papers or smuggling undocumented workders.
  • 2007

    President George W. Bush committed himself to backing a bill that addressed all immigration issues. This bill proposed to fill short term labor needs through a guest worker program and strenghtened border control.