Immigration Laws

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Prior to 1882, there were not any formal acts that controlled immigration. The Act of 1875 merely prohibited the importation of women for purposes of prostitution and the immigration of aliens "who are undergoing conviction in their own country for felonious crimes, other than political..." The Act of 1882 levied a head tax of fifty cents "for every passenger not a citizen of the United States," and forbade the landing of convicts, lunatics, idiots, or of "any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge." The Act of 1885 blocked the immigration of aliens under contract to labor. The Acts of 1891 and 1903 made a number of further additions to the excluded classes (such as anarchists, polygamists, and epileptics), the latter Act raising the head tax to two dollars; but it was not before 1907 that the tax was raised to four dollars. However and imbeciles, the feeble-minded, persons afflicted with tuberculosis, those physically defective, etc., were excluded. An illiteracy test was preferred by the Senate, but stricken by the House of Representatives. It was later implemented in 1917. After World War One a decrease and immigration restrictions with a quota system begun in the 1920s. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was the first legislation limiting immigration into the U.S. The 1882 Act called for a 10-year moratorium on Chinese entering the U.S. This act stemmed mainly from “white agitation”, much of which was led by second generation, Irish Americans in California against inexpensive Chinese labor. They believed the Chinese were taking jobs away from them in the mines and building the railroads. This 10-year ban was to be extended indefinitely in 1892. In 1882 and 1891, laws were passed which b... ... middle of paper ... ...nglish/2008/February/20080307112004ebyessedo0.1716272.html>. "Immigration: Era of Restriction Summary & Analysis." Shmoop: Study Guides & Teacher Resources. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . "Immigration: Era of Restriction Summary & Analysis." Shmoop: Study Guides & Teacher Resources. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . "A Summary of the Immigration Laws of the United States from 1882." Social and Cultural History, Ship Passenger Lists, Vintage Brochures, Steamships, WW1, WW2, WPA. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . "US Immigration History." Rapid Immigration - U.S. Immigration Information in Your Own Language. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. .

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