1921 – Quota system. The Emergency quota act of 1921 was the first quota to be enforced for all nationalities, The quotas were an attempt by the government to maintain the United States’ cultural profile to that green card lottery . The quotas ensured that the level of permitted immigration from a ,Грин карта certain nationality corresponded to the ,population of that nationality living in the United States in 1910.
1924 – Congress addressed loopholes in the Emergency quota act, by implementing the National Origins Act. As the first permanent immigration quota law in the U.S., the act established a preference quota system, non-quota status,and consular control system. The quotas from 1924 were based on population levels in 1890, which further restricted immigration from Eastern and Southern . It also established the Border Patrol.
1929 and 1930s – The Great Depression, immigration remained low. Annual quotas were also made permanent.President Roosevelt and the State Department essentially shut down immigration ,during the Great Depression as immigration went from 236,000 in 1929 to 23,000 in 1933.
1940s – WWII led to labor shortages, as many of Americas were drafted into the military. Due to such labor shortages,the United States sought to use immigration to replenish its labor force.
1943 – Inspired by labor shortages, President Roosevelt negotiated a bilateral treaty with Mexico through which Mexico would provide temporary farm workers to the United States. Following this bilateral treaty, Congress passed legislation that provided for the importation of agricultural workers from North, South, and Central America–the basis of the “Bracero Program.” At the same time the Chinese exclusion laws were repealed.
1952 – The Immigration and Nationality Act reflected the cold war atmosphere and anti-communism of the period, following World War II at the onset of the Korean War. It was passed over President Truman’s veto, who objected to the isolationist nature of the Act, as reflected in the inclusion of national origins quotas and the ideological exclusion provisions. The INA: (1) reaffirmed the national origins quota system, (2) limited immigration from the eastern hemisphere while leaving the western hemisphere unrestricted, (3) established preferences for skilled workers and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens; and (4) tightened security and screening standards and procedures.
1956 – Hungarian Revolution. The violent Soviet response to the Hungarian Revolution led to a humanitarian crisis in which 200,000 refugees fled the violence. Around 40,000 were admitted into the United States in the United States.
1965 – Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Major landmark in U.S. immigration law. Its most important contribution was that it eliminated the national origins quotas. It set a maximum annual level of immigration at 300,000 visas and placed a per-country limit for immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere at 20,000. No per-country limits were placed on immigrants from the Western Hemisphere.
- End of the Bracero Program. 1965 also brought the end of the Bracero program, on the heels of union pressure to create more jobs for Americans and also following the release of Edward R. Murrow’s documentary Harvest of Shame, which detailed the deplorable conditions faced by Mexican laborers.
1976 – Amendments to the Immigration and Naturalization Act extended per-country limitations on immigration to the Western Hemisphere. This had a direct impact on Mexican immigration, as Mexico was the only country at this time that had exceeded the 20,000 immigrant limit previous to 1976.
1978 – Further amendments to the INA, which combined the hemisphere quotas and set a single annual world quota of 290,000 immigrants. Also, eliminated the ability of children born in the U.S. to petition for the legal entry of their parents until the age of 21.
1980 – Refugee Act brought the United States into compliance with its international obligations in regards to refugees, specifically the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It defined refugees as “an individual unable or unwilling to return to his or her country based on a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political affiliation.” It permitted the executive in consultation with Congress to set a ceiling to the number of refugees admitted into the United States each year. It also established the modern asylum system.
1986 – The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was a comprehensive reform effort. It (1) legalized aliens who had resided in the United States in an unlawful status since January 1, 1982, (2) established sanctions prohibiting employers from hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee aliens known to be unauthorized to work in the United States, (3) created a new classification of temporary agricultural worker and provided for the legalization of certain such workers; and (4) established a visa waiver pilot program allowing the admission of certain non-immigrants without visas.
1990 – Immigration Act of 1990. Raised the quota ceiling to 700,000. This act also created a lottery program, the diversity lottery, for citizens of countries where the U.S. did not usually grant large numbers of visas. The act retained family reunification as the major entry path while more than doubling employment-related immigration. The law also provided for the admission of immigrations from “under-represented countries” to increase the diversity of the immigrant flow.
1996 – Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), which limited the availability of habeas corpus relief to those held in detention and restricted judicial review. Also limited relief for immigrants convicted of crimes. Furthermore, AEDPA required the detention of non-citizens arrested for a number of crimes pending their removal proceedings. The immigration provisions of AEDPA were superseded by IIRIRA.
- Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) created more stringent immigration laws pertaining to admission and deportation. This act broadened the types of crimes that could lead to deportation and also made it more difficult for individuals who had entered the United States illegally to gain legal status. It expanded detention and restricted federal court jurisdiction to review individual removal orders and issue class-action relief regarding immigration practices.
– Welfare Reform Act of 1996 made many legal immigrants ineligible for federal entitlement programs.
2007 – Senate bill to overhaul immigration policy hotly debated and defeated. This bill would have had a large-scale impact. It would have provided a legal path to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants residing in the United States. It also would have included the Dream Act, which would grant immigration status for undocumented immigrant minors who either attend college or serve in the military. The bill did not pass.