Immigration Timeline

  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Provided 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. Required the nonlaborers to obtain certification from the Chinese government that they were qualified to immigrate. Defined excludables as "skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining".
  • Geary Act of 1892

    Chinese Excllusion Act expired and Congress extended it for 10 years in the form of the Geary Act.
  • Permanent Extension

    The extension known as the Geary Act was made permanent in 1902 and they added a restriction to the act which required each Chinese resident to register and obtain a certificate of residence. Without a certificate of residence, they would get deported.
  • The Great Migration

    The Great Migration was a mass movement of blacks from the south to the north and west. Around 5 million blacks moved up north between 1915 and 1960. The majority of the migrants moved to major northern cities.
  • First Large Movement

    The first large movement of blacks occured during World War I where 454,000 black southerners moved north from the south.
  • More Migration

    Around 800,000 blacks left the south followed by 398,000 blacks in the 1930's. over 3,348,000 blacks left the south between 1940 and 1960. The motivation was a combination of the desire to escape oppressive economic conditions and the promise of greater prosperity in the north.
  • Repealed all exclusion acts

    Congress repealed all exclusion acts, leaving a yearly limit of 105 Chinese and gave foreign-born Chinese the right to seek naturalization. This lasted until the Immigration Act of 1965.
  • Immigration Act of 1965

    The act was made effective July 1, 1968. This act provided a limit of 170,000 immigrants from outside the Western Hemisphere to enter the United States. Only a maximum of 20,000 were allowed from any one country. The skill and the need for political asylum determined the admission of the immigrants.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    This act was known to have the most comprehensive change in legal immigration since 1965. The act established "flexible" worldwide cap on family-based, employment-based, and diversity immigrant visas. The act further provides that visas for any single foreign state in these categories may not exceed 7% of the total available.