1918 October 16

Immigration Act Bars Entry of Anarchists to the U.S.

 

The 1918 Immigration Act, passed in the middle of anti-radical hysteria during World War I, amended the restrictive 1903 Immigration Act (passed on March 3, 1903) to expand the definition of, and restrictions on, anarchists. The new law barred the entry into the U.S., and allowed the deportation of, anarchists, who were defined as anyone teaching opposition to organized government, teaching the violent overthrow of government, or were members of organizations that advocated those ideas. It also repealed the provision in the 1903 law that had exempted from deportation immigrants who had lived in the U.S. for five years or longer.

In the years ahead, additional restrictive immigration laws were passed. The 1924 Immigration Act, passed on May 26, 1924, imposed a national origins quota system that discriminated against people from Southern and Eastern Europe seeking to come to the U.S. The 1952 McCarran-Walter Act, effective June 27, 1952, was a Cold War measure that excluded alleged “subversives” from the U.S. and allowed the government to deport alleged “subversive” immigrants already in the U.S.  The 1965 Immigration Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law on October 3, 1965, abolished the 1924 national origins quota system in favor of a non-discriminatory policy.

Learn more: Roger Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882 (2004)

Learn more at a timeline on U.S. immigration laws: http://immigration.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000023#1900-1949

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