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Immigration through Time 1798-present

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    United States Immigration

  • 1798 Alien and Sedition Act

    1798 Alien and Sedition Act
    The Alien and sedition Acts of 1789 were signed into law by John Adams. The included four pieces that was influneced by the upcoming war (the War of 1812) with France. In an effort to control immigration and the population, this law extended the time an individual needs to spend in the U.S before they could gain citizenship to 14 years. It also gave the president the power to imprision and deport aliens that were deemed dangerous to the country.
  • Passenger's Cases

    Passenger's Cases
    This was a set of Supreme Court desisions which ruled that taxation and further impidment of immigrants, implemented by New York and Massachusetts, on "alien passengers", was unconstitutial. These were two sperate cases, where the court came to the same decision: immigration may not be obviously in the constitution but it fell under the heading of "foreign commerce", and congress' decision is preemptive to states. Picture Source:
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    This law passed during the Civil War, was to encourage the migration of citizens who had never "bore arms" against the government westward. About 160 acres of land were granted to the adult heads of families for the small price of $1.25 an acre. This government move saw many citizens and immigrants move westward in the name of expansion. Picture Source:
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The 14th amendment saw that anyone born in the United States and naturalized in the States was given citizenship. This amendment saw to the citizenship of hundreds of thousdands of slaves brought to the United States by the slave trade. It would also have an impact on future children of immigrants, granting them citizenship if they were born in the country, despite their parent's citizenship status. Giving these person's equal protection under the law. Picture Source: http://www.laits.utexas.
  • Chinese Exculsion Act

    Chinese Exculsion Act
    The Chinese Exculsion act of 1882 was the first federal act that excluded Chinese immigrants from immigrating or receiving citizenship. This was important because for a time the immigration of 'asian" peoples gave the United States the Labor needed for the construction of the railways. This was the first of many exclusion laws and renewals, as the United States became more selective about immigrants Picture Source:
  • Immigration Act

    Immigration Act
    Assigned the Federal Government with the task of enforing immigration poilcy. This move was made in an effort to make immigration law more potent around the nation, and was expanded to include the new exclusions added to the list of undesirable immigrants (i.e. chinese). This act also established the Bureau of Immigration under the U.S. Treasury Dept. This act also required all persons to be given physicals. Picture Source:
  • Ellis Island

    Ellis Island
    This marked the opening of Ellis Island, a port of entry for all immigrants coming to the U.S through the New York Harbor. Its purpose was to screen immigrants. It was here that names were recorded, inspections made, and people waited until they were cleared for entry to the counrty. Anyone fitting the description of an undesirable was held at the island and denied entry. Over 12 million people entered the United States through this port between 1892-1924. Picture Credit:
  • Naturalization Act

    Naturalization Act
    This act was the one of the first to require that immigrants know English in order to become a United States citizen and naturalized. An oath was also to be taken by potential peoples to denouce any previous affliation with foregin countries and governments and swear alligence to the United States. This act also expanded the Bureau of Immigration Picture Source:
  • Angel Island Immigration Station

    Angel Island Immigration Station
    Much like its counter part on the East Coast, Angel Island was a port of entry for immirgants entering the United States from the West Coast. The main goal of this gateway was to control to influx of Asian immigrants from China and Japan. The location of the Island is in the San Francisco Bay. Also much like Ellis Island it served other purposes such as a detainment center,during the world wars, of undesirables. Picture Source:
  • Immigration Act

    Immigration Act
    This immigration act introduced several new restrictions that incoming immigrants needed to pass to enter the counrty. One such restriction was a literacy test. It also established the "Asiatic Barrier Zone", essentially barring any Asian immigrants from entering the country. This act, as with others, was to control immigration, and maintain the desired cultures of the United States. Photo Credit:!Asiatic_Barred_Zone.png
  • Quota Act

    Quota Act
    The Quota Act of 1921 put a limitation on the amount of immigrants travelling to the United States from a variety of other countries. The limitation being only 3% of each perspective countries population eligible. This was significant because it was a blatent move for nativism in the counrty. Picture Source:
  • U.S. Border Patrol is established

    U.S. Border Patrol is established
    The United States Border Patrol was established through the Labor Appropriation Act of 1924. The U,S Border Patrol is still present along our borders to this day. In its creation it was but a small organization, but today more than a thousand officers serve in the Patrol has it is more uniform. They have ensured that not only are our borders are safe, but put a halt to any illegal immigration coming from land to the north and south. They are another port that people must pass to gain entry.
  • Executive Order 9066

    Executive Order 9066
    As a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President FDR wrote into action this order, that required the move of any person of Japanese decent (inculding Japanese Americans) to internment camps around the counrty. This caused a mass migration of immigrants and citizens to select areas of the counrty, and caused social strain among the racial groups. Picture Source:
  • Displaced Person Act

    Displaced Person Act
    This act was in reaction to World War II. In an effort to aid those affected by the war, the U.S allowed various individuals from select countries to immigrat to the U.S. to escape religious/race/political persectuion from the native countries. This act granted more than just residency, but allowed families in good standing to come, and gave employment without hurting another. Significant as it labeled the U.S open to others, when previously the U.S had been closed off.
  • Immigration and Nationality Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act
    Also known as the McCarren-Walter Act, this piece of legislation was another effort made by the United States to restrict the people coming into the the country. In the Post war environment there was a shift of restrict individuals from the exclusion based on counrty of origin to the exclusion of peoples based on political views, lawfulness, immoral, and diseased. This was a result of the upcoming Cold War, in which tensions around the world rose as views differed.
  • Refugee Act

    Refugee Act
    In an attempt to provide for the better settlement and acculturation of refugees this act created the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program. This program ensured that refugees were given the necessary resources to ensure that they could survive in their new surroundings. It is significant as teh United States legislation in regards to many immigrant groups have been negative, while we are always trying to help the downtrodden. There are 2 sides to the U.S and immigration policy.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act

    Immigration Reform and Control Act
    This act was made in an effort to revise previous immigration laws that prohibited natrualization of citizens as well as influx of immigrants. The signifigance of this one act is small, but in the grand scheme it signifies that the U.S is on a road for change and better acceptance of those they previously spurned. It also gave those that were in the U.S. illegally the chance to gain citizenship under the new requirements.
  • Immigration Act

    Immigration Act
    Another revision to previous views on exclusion and legal immigration this Act saw that legal immigration grounds were increaed, and the grounds for exculsion and deportation were decreased. It was a move from the strict and closed ways of the past to a more open and contolled move in regards to immigration.
  • Patriot Act

    Patriot Act
    The Patriot Act was in direct response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, a title of this law was focused on the protection of our borders. It broadened our list of undesirable aliens in an effort to prevent those who may wish us harm form entering the country. This law was imporatnt not only in the terms of immigration but in the cultrual and social impacts it made. It changed many individuals points of views towards certain cultuals and geographic locations.
  • SB 1070

    SB 1070
    Arizona has made waves with the latest in immigration reform. SB1070 bill introduced in 2010 set new requirement for the State of Arizona in regards to illegal aliens. It essentially allowed law enforcement individuals the ability to request proof of citizenship and residency if given probable cause. This caused a large debate on racial profiling, and was even taken to the Supreme Court.