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date: 19 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Racism and economics account for the first laws directed at Chinese and Japanese. Entering as “picture brides,” Japanese women evaded the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907-1908 between the United States and Japan, but by use of the naturalization qualifications in the 1920s, Congress effectively closed the door to Asian immigration. For southern and eastern Europeans, national-origin quotas of the same decade cut their immigration drastically. After 1945, Congress and U.S. presidents relaxed the tight restrictions, and, in 1965, Congress passed the Hart-Celler Act, which created a new and more liberal system that stressed family unification. Major issues in recent years have concerned terrorism and undocumented immigration. Throughout this period, the results of the laws were often unintended, largely because the flow of immediate family members and chain migration were unseen.

Keywords: chain migration, economics, family unification, Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907-1908, immediate family members, national origins, naturalization, nonquota, undocumented (illegal) immigrants

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