Immigration Laws in the United States

By asw9880
  • 1790 Naturalization Act

    Stipulated that "any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States"
  • 1864 Immigration Act (An act to encourage immigration)

    Established the position of Commissioner of Immigration, reporting to the Secratary of State; validated labor contracts made by immigrants before arrival; exempted immigrants from compulsory military service; established the office of Superintendent of Immigration for New York City.
  • 1875 Page Law

    A law stating that any immigration of Chinese, Japanese, or any Asian country, to the United States must be free and voluntary.
  • 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

    The Chinese Exclusion act was imposed to exclude Chinese from migrating to the United States. The government felt that Chinese laborers were a threat to order in certain localities.
  • 1882 Immigration Act

    Congress passed a new Immigration Act that stated a 50 cents tax would be levied on all aliens landing at United States ports. An act in which the State Commission and officers were in charge of checking the passengers upon incoming vessels arriving in the U.S. The passengers were examined by a set of exclusionary criteria. Upon examination passengers who appeared to be convicts, lunatics, idiots or unable to take care of themselves were not permitted onto land.
  • 1891 Immigration Act

    The immigrants who came to the United States carrying a contagious disease were also not permitted entry. Anyone who had been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or any other crime such as any activity deemed contrary to the beliefs and standards of society such as polygamy were not granted citizenship. The United States wanted only those who could care for themselves with out the assistance of others.
  • 1892 Geary Act - extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act

    The Geary Act extended the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act for an additional 10 years, and required persons of Chinese descent to acquire and carry identification papers.
  • 1902 Scott Act - extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act

    The Scott Act extended Chinese exclusion laws indefinitely.
  • The US immigration Act of 1907

    Reorganized the states bordering Mexico (Arizona, New Mexico and a large part of Texas) into Mexican Border District to stem the flow of immigrants into the United States.
  • Immigrant Act of 1917

    Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act. One of the key aspects of the 1917 Act was that people from what was called the Asiatic Barred Zone were restricted from entering the country. “Any country not owned by the U.S. adjacent to the continent of Asia” along specified longitudes and latitudes were restricted from immigrating.
    Another important provision of the Immigration Act was the literacy test imposed on immigrants entering the country. Those who were over the age of 16 and could read som
  • 1921 Emergency Quota Law

    The objective of this act was to temporarily limit the numbers of immigrants to the United States by imposing quotas based on country of birth.
  • Immigrant Act of 1924

    The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia.
  • The Alien Registration Act

    Required all aliens (non-U.S. citizens) within the United States to register with the Government and receive an Alien Registration Receipt Card (the predecessor of the "Green Card").
  • 1943 Magnuson Act

    This act repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, established quotas for Chinese immigration, and allowed Chinese nationals in the U.S. to become naturalized citizens. Furthermore, due to the establishment of the quota, an increase of Chinese immigration became allowable. Chinese were allowed to enter the United States and Hawaii in numbers calculated according to Section 11 of the Immigration Act of 1924.
  • Passage of the Internal Security Act

    Rendered the Alien Registration Receipt Card even more valuable. Immigrants with legal status had their cards replaced with what generally became known as the "green card" (Form I-151).
  • 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the McCarran-Walter Act

    Established the modern day US immigration system. It created a quota system which imposes limits on a per-country basis. It also established the preference system that gave priority to family members and people with special skills
  • 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the Hart-Cellar Act

    The Hart-Cellar Act abolished the national origins quota system that had structured American immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it with a preference system that focused on immigrants' skills and family relationships with citizens or residents of the U.S. Numerical restrictions on visas were set at 170,000 per year, not including immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, nor "special immigrants".
  • 1968 Armed Forces Naturalization Act

    An act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for the naturalization of persons who have served in active-duty service in the armed forces of the United States during the Vietnam hostilities, or in other periods of military hostilities, and for other purposes.
  • 1990 Immigration and Nationality Act

    The Immigration Act of 1990 changed American immigration law, allowing more people to enter the country each year .
  • 1991 Armed Forces Immigration Adjustment Act

    This Act extended special immigrant status to non-citizens who have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least 12 years.
  • 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act

    Title I - Improvements to Border Control, Facilitation of Legal Entry and Interior Enforcement
    Title II - Enhanced Enforcement and Penalties Against Alien Smuggling; Document Fraud
    Title III - Inspection, Apprehension, Detention, Adjudication, And Removal Of Inadmissible And Deportable Aliens
    Title IV - Enforcement of Restrictions Against Employment
    Title V - Restrictions On Benefits For Aliens
    Title VI - Miscellaneous Provisions
  • USA Patriot Act 2001

    Uniting and Strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism.
  • Creation of the USCIS 2003

    the US immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) becomes part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The department’s new U.S. Citizenship and US immigration Services (USCIS) function is to handle US immigration services and benefits, including citizenship, applications for permanent residence, non-immigrant applications, asylum, and refugee services.