Us imm.

U.S. Immigration Timeline

  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    Stopped the entry of Chinese Immigrants into the U.S. for 10 years. First Act to establish the Federal Government's right to restrict Immigration based on Nationalities.
  • 1888 & 1891

    1888 & 1891
    More restrictive Acts were passed. They allowed the National Government not only to exclude certain individuals--convicts, prostitutes, and insane persons, for example--but also to edeport 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 from each nationality to 3% of the number of foreign-born persons of that nationality who were living in the U.S. in 1920. 3% of 100,000 would be allowed to immigratre from Poland to the U.S. each year. Most Asian groups weren't included in the list of nationalities. The law didn't apply to certain categories of educated people, such as professors, ministers, doctors, and lawyers. Immigration from the Western Hemisphere was also unrestricted.
  • Immigration Act of 1924 and National Origins Act of 1929

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

    The law had eliminated quotas based on national origin. As many as 270,000 immigrants could be admitted each year without regard to nationality, country of origin, or raace. No more than 20,000 persons could come from any one country. Close relatives of American citizens were given special status, as were aliens with specialized occupational talents.
  • 1986 - Immigration Reform and Control Act

    1986 - Immigration Reform and Control Act
    Imposed severe penalties on employers who willfully hired illegal aliens, ranging from $250 to $10,000 per offense. The law also included an amnesty program.
  • 1987-88 - Amnesty Program

    1987-88 - Amnesty Program
    Amnesty is a general pardon for past offenses, such as illegally residing is the U.S. From Summer of 1987-Summer of 1988, illegal aliens who could prove that they had been in this country continuously for at least 5 years could apply to obtain temporary legal residency status. 18 months later, they could apply for permanent residency, and eventually, the could apply for citizenship.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    Immigration Act of 1990
    Act raised legal immigration levels by about 40%, to 700,000 per year. It stressed family reunification, provided legal status for illegal immigrants, and struck down barriers which blocked the people with certain political beliefs from entry. The most significant feature was a tripling of the number of visas granted to highly skilled professionals, such as engineers, researchers, and scientists.
  • 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. It required that individuals who were suspected of being illegal aliens be interviewed, questioned, and forced to produce legal residency documents, and also required all law enforcement agencies in California to report anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
  • Immigration Reform Act of 1996

    Immigration Reform Act of 1996
    A provision of this act forced hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and refugees to leave the U.S. Also, it barred illegal aliens from re-entering the U.S. for up to ten years.
  • Welfare Reform Act of 1996

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

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