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US Immigration Reform History

By Paul Anderson Subscribe to RSS | July 12th 2012 | Views:

Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system.

Timeline of US Immigration

1790: With the restriction and requirement to live in US for 2 years, immigrant can become US Citizens. This is when the first Naturalization rule came into play.

1795: The restriction to live in US for 2 years got increased to 5 years in order to obtain US Citizenship. And also renounce their country residence.

1798: Aliens and Sedition Acts, which allow the President to deport any foreigner, deemed to be dangerous.

1808: African slave’s importation was banned by Congress.

1849, 1854 & 1882: Chinese immigrants increase due to California Gold rush and to work on the Trans National Railroad. Chinese immigrants are prohibited from testifying against whites in California courts. Chinese Exclusion Act was passed to restrict them from obtaining US Citizenship and also suspending their entry to US.

1906: The ability to speak and understand English became a requirement for Naturalization.

1907: Expatriation Act passed, which states the American woman who marries a foreign national will lose her citizenship.

Under Gentlemen’s agreement with Japan, US agree not to restrict Japanese immigration in exchange for Japan’s promise not to issue passports to Japanese laborers for travel to continental US.

1913: Chinese & Japanese ineligible for citizenship and also can’t own property in States.

1917: Literacy requirement for immigrants over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. Law requires immigrants to read at least 40 words in some language.

1921 & 1924: Annual European immigration to 3 percent of the number of nationality group in the United States Census in 1910. The law was primarily designed to restrict the flow of the immigrants from eastern and southern Europe. But in 1924, Johnson-Reed Act limits the European immigration to 2 percent.

1923: In the landmark case of United States v. Bhaghat Singh Thind, the Supreme Court rules that Indians from the Asian subcontinent could not become naturalized U.S. citizens.

1934: The Tydings-McDuffie Act, which provided for independence for Philippines on July 4, 1946, strips Filipinos of their status as US Citizens and restricted an annual immigration quota to 50.

1940: Alien Registration Act requires the registration of fingerprinting of all aliens in the United States above age 14.

1942: Shortage of the domestic labor, which allowed agricultural workers from North, Central and South America. The Barcero program was started and which allowed Mexican laborers to work in the US.

1954: Operation Wetback deported more than 1.1 million Mexican immigrants.

1965: The Immigration and Naturalization Act 1965 allowed more skilled immigrants and family members to US. It also closed the quota system which gave preference only to western Europeans.

1986: Immigration Reform and Control Act granted amnesty to about 3 million undocumented immigrants and sanctions for employers who hire undocumented workers.

1996: Welfare reform, immigration reform and anti-terrorism legislation from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and also the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. This closed the opportunities for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status, gaining asylum status very difficult, more deportation happened.

2001: Congress passed PATRIOT Act, soon after September 11, 2001 attack which gave power to detain suspected terrorists.

2008: ICE unveils sweeping new plan to target criminal aliens in jails nationwide. Initiative aims to identify and remove criminal aliens from all U.S. jails and prisons.

2012: Effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own as young children and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or entered into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.

Paul Anderson - About Author:
US Citizenship is not legal advice site, but it’s a place for all immigration related issues. Where in you can fill the forms on either immigrant visa (Green Card Renewal, US Citizenship, Passport many more) online. We will make sure your form is 100% error free, before you submit to USCIS (formerly INS).

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