Immigration Act of 1924 (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Congress restricts immigration by means of a quota system.
Summary of Event
There was no clearly defined official U.S. policy toward immigration until the late nineteenth century. The United States was still a relatively young country, and there was a need for settlers in the West and for workers to build industry. Chinese immigrants flowed into California in 1849 and the early 1850’s, searching for fortune and staying as laborers who worked the mines and labored to build the transcontinental railroad.
The earliest immigration restriction focused on Asians. In 1875, the federal government restricted the number of Chinese and Japanese coming into the country. The push for restriction of Asian immigrants was led by U.S. workers. After the depression of 1877, Denis Kearney, an Irish-born labor organizer, helped found the Workingman’s Trade and Labor Union of San Francisco, an anti-Chinese and anticapitalist group. Kearney and others believed that lower-paid Chinese workers took jobs away from white workers, and they agitated for expulsion of the Chinese and legal restrictions on future immigrants. Their efforts were successful in 1882, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. The act exempted teachers, students, merchants, and pleasure travelers, and remained in effect until 1943. With the act of 1882, the federal government had, for the first time, placed restrictions on the immigration...
(The entire section is 1311 words.)
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