Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965


Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act, INS Act of 1965, USPL|89|236) abolished the national-origin quotas that had been in place in the United States since the Immigration Act of 1924. It was proposed by Emanuel Celler, cosponsored by Philip Hart and heavily supported by United States Senator Ted Kennedy.

An annual limitation of 170,000 visas was established for immigrants from Eastern Hemisphere countries with no more than 20,000 per country. By 1968, the annual limitation from the Western Hemisphere was set at 120,000 immigrants, with visas available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the number of family reunification visas was unlimited, and it is only now that there are any country-origin quotas for spouses of US citizens, and numerical quotas for other relatives of US citizens.

In the Congress, the House of Representatives voted 326 to 69 (82.5%) in favor of the act while the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 76 to 18. Opposition mainly came from Southern legislators. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the legislation into law.

During debate on the Senate floor, Senator Kennedy, speaking of the effects of the act, said, "First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.... The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs." (U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 1965. pp. 1-3.) The act's supporters not only claimed the law would not change America's ethnic makeup, but that such a change was not desirable.

The Immigration Act of 1965 shifted the focus of immigration law from non-European countries to countries that were considered to be Third World. Presidents Johnson and Kennedy hoped that by reforming immigration law, they would not only improve relations with non-European nations, but they would reaffirm America's principles of freedom and equality.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 became law on July 1, 1968. Along with the act of 1952, it serves as one of the parts of the United States Code until this day.

Demographic effects, political response

Though it was little remarked at the time of its passage and was not even mentioned by President Johnson in his memoirs, [ [http://www.npg.org/forum_series/socialexp.html A Vast Social Experiment: The Immigration Act of 1965] Otis L. Graham, Jr. npg.org. Retrieved August 8, 2008.] the Act wrought demographic changes that include a reduction in the proportion of whites in the nation’s population. [ [http://www.vdare.com/pb/time_to_rethink.htm Time to Rethink Immigration?] Peter Brimelow, "National Review", June 22, 1992. Retrieved August 8, 2008.] This has made it a subject of political comment. [ [http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/historians/chapter11.htm The Immigration Act of 1965: Intended and Unintended Consequences] usinfo.state.gov. Retrieved August 8, 2008.] [ [http://www.vdare.com/pb/time_to_rethink.htm Time to Rethink Immigration?] Peter Brimelow, "National Review", June 22, 1992. Retrieved August 8, 2008.] [ [http://www.jtl.org/auster/ The Path to National Suicide — An Essay on Immigration and Multiculturalism] Lawrence Auster. jtl.org. Retrieved August 8, 2008.]

ee also

*History of laws concerning immigration and naturalization in the United States
*Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

References

External links

* [http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/Johnson/archives.hom/speeches.hom/651003.asp President Lyndon B. Johnson's speech upon signing the bill]
* [http://www.historicaldocuments.com/ImmigrationActof1965.htm The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965]
* [http://www.asian-nation.org/1965-immigration-act.shtml Asian-Nation: 1965 Immigration Act & Its Effects on Asian Americans]
* [http://www.cetel.org/1943_repeal.html Ancestors in the Americas: The Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act]
* [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1121504 Gabriel J. Chin, The Civil Rights Revolution Comes to Immigration Law: A New Look at the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, 75 North Carolina Law Review 273 (1996)]
* [http://www.cis.org/articles/1995/back395.html Center for Immigration Studies: "Three Decades of Mass Immigration, The Legacy of the 1965 Immigration Act", September 1995]


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