1952 June 27

Subversives Out! Repressive McCarran-Walter Immigration Act Signed


Officially the Immigration and Nationality Act (but usually referred to as the McCarran-Walter Act), the law passed on this day allowed the government to deport aliens and naturalized citizens for subversive activities, and also to bar alleged subversives from entering the country. President Truman had vetoed the law two days earlier, but Congress overrode his veto by large margins (57–26 in the Senate), and Truman signed it into law on this day.

The provisions of the law that allowed the government to deny people from other countries visas to enter the U.S. because of their political views were largely repealed in later years.

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

Read: Michael J. Ybarra, Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarren and the Great American Communist Hunt (2004)

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