This site is a collaborative product, created by students enrolled in BIS367: Exploring American Culture: Race, Ethnicity and Immigration at the University of Washington-Bothell in Autumn 2007. Course instructor Sarah Starkweather, surprised by the difficulty of finding full-text versions of key immigration legislation on the web and by the lack of comprehensive websites on the subject, made the creation of such a site a central goal of the course.

The goal of this site is to provide a comprehensive source of information about American legislation pertaining to immigration and immigrants, from the founding of the nation to the present day. Here you will find short summaries, useful links, and the full text of relevant public laws. Click on the name of a piece of legislation in the chronological list below for more information about it.

In a related independent study project, Jennifer Stawski compiled an annotated bibliography on the topic of the criminalization of immigrants. You can find it here.

 

 

List of Public Laws covered on this site:

1790 Naturalization Act (An act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization)

1795 Naturalization Act (An act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and to repeal the act heretofore passed on that subject)

1798 Naturalization Act (An act supplementary to and to amend the act, intituled "An act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and to repeal the act heretofore passed on that subject")

1798 Alien Friends Act (An act concerning aliens)

1798 Alien Enemies Act (An act respecting alien enemies)

1819 Steerage Act (An act regulating passenger ships and vessels)

1847 Passenger Law (An act to regulate the carriage of passengers in merchant vessels)

1855 Passenger Law (An act to regulate the carriage of passengers in steamships and other vessels)

1862 Anti-coolie law (An act to prohibit the "coolie trade" by American citizens in American vessels)

1864 Immigration Act (An act to encourage immigration)

1875 Page Law (An act supplementary to the acts in relation to immigration)

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act (An act to inaugurate certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese)

1882 Immigration Act (An act to regulate immigration)

1885 Contract Labor Law (An act to prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia)

1891 Immigration Act (An act in amendment to the various acts relative to immigration and the importation of aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor)

1892 Geary Act (An act to prohibit the coming of Chinese persons into the United States)

1902 Scott Act (An act to prohibit the coming into and to regulate the residence within the United States, its Territories, and all territory under its jurisdiction, and the District of Columbia, of Chinese and persons of Chinese descent)

1917 Immigration Act (An act to regulate the immigration of aliens to, and the residence of aliens in, the United States)

1918 Wartime Measure (An act to prevent in time of war departure from or entry into the United States contrary to the public safety)

1921 Emergency Quota Law (An act to limit the immigration of aliens into the United States)

1924 Immigration Act (An act to limit the immigration of aliens into the United States, and for other purposes)

1940 Nationality Act (An act to revise and codify the nationality laws of the United States into a comprehensive nationality code)

1941 Wartime Measure (An act to authorize the refusal of visas to aliens whose admission into the United States would endanger the public safety)

1943 Magnuson Act (An act to repeal the Chinese Exclusion Act, to establish quotas, and for other purposes)

1943 Bracero Appropriations (Making an appropriation to assist in providing a supply and distribution of farm labor for the calendar year 1943)

1945 War Brides Act (An act to expedite the admission to the United States of alien spouses and alien minor children of citizen members of the United States armed forces)

1946 Alien Fiancées and Fiancés Act (An act to facilitate the admission into the United States of the alien fiancées or fiancés of members of the armed forces of the United States)

1946 Chinese War Brides Act (An act to place Chinese wives of American citizens on a nonquota basis)

1948 Displaced Persons Act (An act to authorize for a limited period of time the admission into the United States of certain European displaced persons for permanent residence, and for other purposes)

1950 Act on Alien Spouses and Children (To permit the admission of alien spouses and minor children of citizen members of the United States armed forces)

1951 Public Law 78 - Extension of the Bracero Program (An act to amend the agricultural act of 1949)

1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the McCarran-Walter Act (An act to revise the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality; and for other purposes)

1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the Hart-Cellar Act (An Act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act, and for other purposes)

1968 Armed Forces Naturalization Act (An act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for the naturalization of persons who have served in active-duty service in the armed forces of the United States during the Vietnam hostilities, or in other periods of military hostilities, and for other purposes)

1975 Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (An act to enable the United States to render assistance to, or in behalf of, certain immigrants and refugees) and amendments

1982 Amerasian Immigration Act (An act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide preferential treatment in the admission of certain children of United States citizens)

1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, a.k.a. the Simpson-Mazzoli Act (An act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to revise and reform the immigration laws, and for other purposes)

1990 Immigration and Nationality Act (An act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to change the leve, and preference system for admission, of immigrants to the United States, and to provide for administrative naturalization, and for other purposes)

1991 Armed Forces Immigration Adjustment Act (An act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for special immigrant status for certain aliens who have served honorably (or are enlisted to serve) in the Armed Forces of the United States for at least 12 years)

1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (An act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 201(a)(1) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 1997)

1996 Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act

2000 Hmong Veterans' Naturalization Act (An act to facilitate the the naturalization of aliens who served with special guerilla units or irregular forces in Laos)

2000 Bring Them Home Alive Act (An act to provide for the granting of refugee status in the United States for nationals of certain foreign countries in which American Vietnam War POW/MIAs or American Korean War POW/MIAs may be present, if those nationals assist in the return to the United States of those POW/MIAs alive)

2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (An act to reform the intelligence community and the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States government, and for other purposes)

2005 Real ID Act (An act making emergency supplemental appropriations for defense, the global war on terror, and tsunami relief, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes - Division B)

2006 Secure Fence Act (An act to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States)

 

 

Many thanks to Hein Online for document provision, and The University of Washington-Bothell Library, for arranging web hosting. If you have any questions about this site, please contact the course instructor, Sarah Starkweather, at sarah [dot] starkweather [at] gmail [dot] com.