U.S. Immigration

  • 1790

    Congress declared a preference for immigrants from Europe. It passed a law defining who could becomea citizen if a person was not born here; Citizenship was possible only for someone who was "a free white person."
  • Period: to

    1880 and 1920

    25 million immigrants arrived in the United States. Most coming from Southern and Eastern Europe.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    The Chinese Exclusion Act said that no Chinese laborer could enter the United States for 10 years. (Chinese professionals were still allowed to immigrate,)
  • Quota Act of 1921

    Quota Act of 1921
    Congress sets up quotas favoring immigrants from northwestern Europe.
  • Immigration Act of 1924

    Immigration Act of 1924
    Each counrty's immigrants were limited to 2 perecent of foreign-born residents from that counrty listed in the U.S. Census of 1980.
  • 1965-Immigration Reform Act

    1965-Immigration Reform Act
    Abolished the quota system based on national origin. Lyndon B. Johnson referred to the old system as "un-American." The new laws reunified familes and giving priority to certain skills. Also setting up annual limits: 170,000 immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere and 120,000 from the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1986-Immigration Reform and Control Act

    1986-Immigration Reform and Control Act
    President Ronald Regan wanted to slow immigration by punishing employers who knowingly hired undocumented immigrants. Also he wanted to offer a way for long-term, undocumented immigrants to become legal. Only if they could show that they had entered the United States before January 1982 and had lived in American continueously. Eligable workers could recieve temporary and later permanent residency, and after 5 years apply for citizenship.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    Immigration Act of 1990
    No country could account for more than 7 percent ot total immigrants.The law also concidered education and skills. The law set up specail catagories for war refugees or close relatives of American citizens.
  • Immigration Reform Act of 1996

    Immigration Reform Act of 1996
    Law increased the border patrol staff and stiffened penalties for creating false citizenship papers or smuggling undocumented workers.
  • 2007

    President George W. Bush backed a bill dealing with immigration issues. The bill would strengthen borders. It woldn't track down undocumented wokers. The workers would be allowed to apply for citizenship and if granted they could stay they would be allowed to stay. The bill was shot down because they Senate thought the penalties weren't harsh enough and the bill really amounted to just amnesty, or forgiveness.