US immigration in the 20th century

Post-World War I legislation

The restrictive approach to immigration which started in the late 1800s in the US continued during the early 1900s. Following World War I, the US Congress officially changed the country’s immigration policy by passing the National Origins Formula of 1921 (refined in 1924). The act reduced the number of immigrants who could come to the US and established immigration quotas based on their country of origin. This legislation discriminated against immigrants from Russia and Southern Europe and favoured immigration from Northern, Western, and Central Europe. At the same time, it almost completely banned any immigration from Asia. As the bill focused more on immigration from Europe and Asia, immigrants from Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America could still move freely to the US until 1965.

During the period from 1924 to 1965, the US accepted a small number of refugees such as Jewish people fleeing from Nazi Germany before WWII, Holocaust survivors, and people fleeing the communist regimes in Central Europe, Russia, and Cuba (after the 1956 Cuban Revolution).

After the 1924 final Nation...

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