Saturday, 10 August 2013


All US Presidents including Obama often proudly report that the USA is a nation of immigrants. The US Immigration Policy Immigration always played an important role in American history and the United States has an open immigration policy. Some changes in immigration laws came in after the Civil War, when the Supreme Court in 1875 proclaimed that regulation of immigration is a federal responsibility.  As a result, the US Immigration Policy Service established in 1891.

In the two decades from 1900 to 1920 nearly 25 million immigrants reached the US in what is called the Great Wave. After the World War I mass immigration resumed.
  • The US Congress introduced nationally-origins quota system in 1921 and a revised version in 1924.
  • In 1952 the Immigration and Nationality Act came in the aftermath of the World War II. 
  • In 1965, Congress replaced the national origins system with a preference system to unite immigrant families and attract skilled immigrants to the United States. 
  • In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). This legislation had amnesty and enforcement as two faces. 
  • In 2000, IRCA made a late Amnesty for helping to reapply for those fighting their original denial to reapply. 
  • The 1986 legislation prohibited the hiring and harbouring of illegal aliens. 
  • The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform under Barbra Jordan covered many facets of immigration policy. 
  • In 1996, Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) was passed. 
  • The last amnesty was in 2000 called Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE) to illegal aliens to attain green card by way of marriage, employment and other means.
Perhaps the watershed in immigration policy that set the ball rolling for drastic reforms was terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. It exposed the loop holes of intake policy in areas of visa processing, enforcement and information sharing.

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