U.S. Immigration

  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    This act stopped the entry of Chinese immigrants into the U.S, for ten years. This was the first act to establish the federal government's rights to restrict immigration based on nationalities.
  • 1888 & 1891

    1888 & 1891
    Acts were passed that allowed the national government not only to exclude certain individuals (convicts, prostitutes, and insane persons for example) but also to deport aliens who entered the country in violation of these immigration laws.
  • Quota Act of 1921

    Quota Act of 1921
    This act limited the annual number of immigrants for each nationality to 3% of the number of foreign-born persons of that natinoality who were living in the U.S. in 1910
  • Immigratin Act of 1924 and National Origins Act of 1929

    Immigratin Act of 1924 and National Origins Act of 1929
    Established a new quota system for each nationality and set a limit on the total number of immigrants to be allowed entry at all (150,000 per year). The quota system that resulted from these acts served as the basis for the U.S. immigration policy for more than 35 year.
  • 1965

    Eliminated quotas based on national origin or race. As many as 270,000 immigrants could be admitted each year without regard to nationality, country of origin, or race. No more than 20,000 persons could come from any one country.
  • 1986-Immigration Reform and Control Act

    1986-Immigration Reform and Control Act
    Imposed severe penalties on employers who willfully hired illegal aliens (fines range from $250 to $10,000 for each offence). Employers who repeatedly violated this laws can be jailed for up to six months.
  • 1987-88 Amnesty Program

    1987-88 Amnesty Program
    Illegal aliens who could prove that they had been in this country continuously for at least five years could apply to obtain temporary legal residency status. Eighteen months later, they could apply for permanent residency.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    Immigration Act of 1990
    This act raised legal immigartion levels by about 40%, to 700,000 per year. It stressed famliy reunification, provided legal status for certain illegal immigrants, and struck down barriers blocking people with certain political beliefs from entry. The acts most significant feature was a tripling of the number of visas granted to highly skilled professionals.
  • 1994-Proposition 187

    1994-Proposition 187
    It denied public social services, publicly funded health care, and public education to people who were suspected of being illegal aliens. People suspected of being illegal aliens had to be interviewed, questioned, and forced to produce legal residency documents. All law enforcment agencies in California to report anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
  • Immigration Reform Act of 1996

    Immigration Reform Act of 1996
    Public pressure to curb immigration; particularly illegal immigration caused the Government to pass this act. This act put into effect a number of provisions to stem illegal immigration.
  • Welfare Reform Act of 1996

    Welfare Reform Act of 1996
    Prohibited immigrants, including legal immigrants who are not yet US citizens, from receiving most forms of public assistance, including welfare benefits
  • 1997

    Under the new policy, many refugees automatically became eligible for permanent legal residence. Other illegal immigrants were allowed to remain in the US while the governement processed their applications for permanent legal residence. Additionally, immigrants were again made eligible for public assistance benefits