US Immigration Policy Timeline

US Immigration Policy Timeline

1875 excluded criminals and women "brought for lewd and immoral purposes" 1882 excluded lunatics, idiots, convicts, or those likely to become a public charge; Chinese Exclusion Act; 50-cent head tax paid by transportation company 1891 excluded those infected with a "loathsome" or contagious disease, paupers, offenders of "moral turpitude,"...

1875

excluded criminals and women “brought for lewd and immoral purposes”

1882

excluded lunatics, idiots, convicts, or those likely to become a public charge; Chinese Exclusion Act; 50-cent head tax paid by transportation company

1891

excluded those infected with a “loathsome” or contagious disease, paupers, offenders of “moral turpitude,” polygamists

1903

excluded anarchists, prostitutes and their procurers, epileptics, insane persons, professional beggars; head tax increased to $2

1907

excluded the “feeble-minded,” children under 16 traveling alone, anyone with a physical or mental handicap that might hinder ability to earn a living; Gentlemen’s Agreement excluding Japanese laborers; head tax increased to $4 (skilled workers and whole families exempted from this tax)

1917

literacy requirement; exclusion of persons coming from Asia and the Pacific Islands; head tax increased to $8; made it a misdemeanor to bring in or harbor aliens not duly admitted by immigration officers; Mexican workers effectively restricted by head tax, literacy test and limit of six-month stay for contracted employees

1921

first quota law (temporary), annual admission of certain ethnic groups based on a percentage of those nationalities in the 1910 census

1924

National Origins Act (second quota law), annual admission of certain ethnic groups based on 2 percent of those nationalities in the 1890 census (changing to ratio using the 1920 census in 1927); exempted Western Hemisphere countries from quotas; émigrés also needed a visa from US embassy in country of origin before leaving

1929

penalties and restrictions on the return of previously deported aliens

1943

Chinese Exclusion Act repealed; nationality law changed to allow Chinese to become citizens; authorized and financed “bracero” program to bring temporary Mexican farm workers to the US

1945

exempted war brides of Gls from quotas

1946

facilitated admission of alien fiancés and fiancées pending marriage to US military service personnel, with visiting time extended in 1947

1947

relaxed quotas and other restrictions of displaced persons from World War II, particularly favoring Polish, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, Romanian and Yugoslavian immigrants

1950

additional categories and extensions for displaced persons and war orphans; excluded “subversives” with any communist associations

1952

revised quotas; removed racial barriers to naturalization; increased family preferences; excluded more classes such as subversives, lepers, drug addicts and dealers; abolished head tax but increased various fees

1954

strengthened laws to deport communists; admitted sheepherders

1957

permitted alien enlistment in US Army
 
From the December 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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