Immigration and Nationality Act (1965)

John H. Barnhill

In: Encyclopedia of Politics of the American West

Immigration and Nationality Act (1965)

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  • Also known as the Hart-Celler Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. The act set per-country quotas of 20,000 immigrant visas and an overall Eastern Hemisphere total of 170,000 visas per year. The total for the Western Hemisphere was 120,000 visas, with no per-nation limit. The vote in favor of the act was 76–18 in the Senate and 326–69 in the House.

    World War II, the Cold War, and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s made American politicians sensitive to the international and internal implications of discrimination by a world power. American immigration law was discriminatory, resting on the National Origins Act of 1924 and the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. The former discriminated against ...

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