Immigration in the US: Key Events

  • Period: Jan 1, 1500 to

    The Colonial Era

  • Jan 1, 1565

    First European settlement in America by the Spanish in Florida.

    First European settlement in America by the Spanish in Florida.
    St. Augustine' (Spanish: San Agustín) is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County.[1] Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States.[2] St. Augustine lies in a region of Florida known as "The First Coast", which extends from Amelia Island in the north to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Palm Coast in the south. According
  • Spanish immigrants settled in present day Texas and New Mexico

    Spanish immigrants settled in present day Texas and New Mexico
  • First group of African slaves are shipped to Virginia.

    First group of African slaves are shipped to Virginia.
  • Period: to

    The Open Door Era

    A new wave of immigration and a time to rethink regulation.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence
    "Europe, not England, is the parent country of America," - Thomas Pain, Common Sense. The colonies begin their recruitment of settlers from countries in Europe.
  • The word "immigrant" emerges

    The word "immigrant" emerges
    Jedidiah Morse uses the term "immigrant" to describe the settlers coming from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and France. Immigrant was selected over emigrant because the settlers were considered to be coming to a new country rather than leaving their homeland.
  • Naturalization Act

    Naturalization Act The law outlined the requirements for becoming a US citizen, which included residing in the US for 5 or more years and renouncing all allegiances to former countries.
  • The War of 1812

    The War of 1812, PBSThe War of 1812 put a halt to immigration in the United States.
  • Period: to

    The First Great Wave of Immigration

    Over 10 million immigrants came to the US and settled in the Midwest. The majority of the immigrants were from Britain, Germany, and Ireland.
  • Period: to

    The Era of Regulation

  • German instruction in Pennsylvania Schools

    German instruction in Pennsylvania Schools
    A law was passed to allow instruction in public schools to be conducted in German.
  • The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

    The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
    The treaty ended the Mexican-American war and as a result America acquired Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, California, and parts of Utah and Nevada for $15 million. Those who resided on the areas prior to the war were allowed to remain in the US, however, they experienced a great deal of discrimination.
  • Chinese Immigration

    Chinese Immigration
    Chinese migration begins in large waves as a result of the California gold rush.
  • Know-Nothing Movement

    The "Know-Nothing Movement" advocated for the limits of immigration, objected the increasing number of Roman-Catholics from Ireland, and prevented immigrants from becoming voting citizens until 21 years had passed.
  • Period: to

    American Civil war

  • Burlingame Treaty

    Burlingame Treaty
    This treaty provided "unrestricted" immigration of Chinese citizens.
  • Japanese begin to migrate

    Japanese begin to migrate
    Immigration: The JapaneseJapanese refugees begin to arrive to the US and racial tensions grew between the Japanese and Californians.
  • The Naturalization Act

    The Naturalization Act was passed by congress granting American citizen to white persons and persons of African descent. This act essentially excluded Asians.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act is passed

    Chinese Exclusion Act: Actual documentThis act banned the immigration of Chinese citizens to the US for ten years.
  • Statue of Liberty

    Statue of Liberty
    The Statue of Liberty was dedicated to the US in New York Harbor from the French.
  • Ellis Island

    Ellis Island
    The federal government opens a center for receiving new immigrants to the US in New York Harbor: Ellis Island.
  • Period: to

    World War I

    World War I erupts and immigration to the US comes to a halt.
  • Period: to

    The Era of Restriction

    Immigration regulations in the US continue as WWII and the Korean War unfolds.
  • Literacy testing and deportation

    Literacy testing and deportation
    The administration of a literacy test for incoming immigrants becomes a law. During this time a law allowing the deportation of immigrants threatening sabotage in the US was passed.
  • Immigration Restrictions

    Congress passes a law that limits immigration to the US to a 350,000 quota.
  • Governor Al Smith

    Governor Al Smith was nominated for the democratic ticket for president. Governor Smith was the son of immigrants. This was the first time in history when a son of immigrants is nominated for a major political party.
  • World War II begins in Europe

    World War II begins in Europe
  • Japenese Internment Begins

    Japanese InternmentAfter the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese who resided in the US were relocated and imprisoned. Approximately 1,200 to 1,800 Japanese were interned. Internment ended on December 18, 1944.
  • Period: to

    Bracero Program

    Mexican farmer immigrants are granted temporary residence.
  • The Chinese Exclusion Act is repealed.

  • World War II Ends

  • 1950-1953 Korean War

    1950-1953 Korean War
  • Operation Wetback

    Border control begins under the Eisenhower administration in response to anti-Latino immigration.
  • 1964-1975 Vietnam War

    1964-1975 Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War creates a population of Southeast Asian refugees.
  • Civil Rights Act passed

    The Civil Rights Act: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination against African-Americans illegal.
  • Period: to

    The Era of Liberation

    The Vietnam War and Civil Rights.
  • The Immigration Act of 1965

    "The Immigration Act of 1965 removes the national origins quota system. It establishes a ceiling of 270,000 immigrants per year with no more than 20,000 from one country. It creates a system of preferences, with highest priority given to family reunification."
  • Refugee Act of 1980

    In response to Cuban and Vietnamese refugee crises, approximately 10 million refugees in search of asylym are legally admitted to the US as citizens.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Timeline"The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 allows most illegal aliens who have reside in the U.S. continuously since January 1 of 1982 to apply for legal status and prohibits employers from hiring illegal aliens and mandates penalties for violations"
  • The Immigration Act of 1990

    The act capped immigration to 700,000 per year.
  • Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act

    Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act
    This act allowed the US to legally deport aliens who did not have the proper paperwork. This was passed in response to the World Trade Center bombings by terrorists.
  • Patriot Act

    The US passes the Patriot Act to limit the amount of illegal immigrants and potential terrorists.
  • 9/11

    The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by terrorists kills thousands. The US enacts precautionary laws to prevent future attacks.
  • Obama to permit young migrants to remain in the US

    Obama to permit young migrants to remain in the US
  • America enters WWII

    America enters WWII
    The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor in the United States thus forcing the US to join WWII.
  • Proposition 187

    California Legislature prohibits the treatment of illegal immigrants by physicians. This legislation was deemed unconstitutional and thus it was repealed.