February 5, 1917: Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917.

Also called the “Asiatic Barred Zone Act”, this piece of immigration legislation was passed over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto and added to a list of “undesirable” people, who would henceforth be banned from immigrating to the United States, “all idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane persons; persons who have had one or more attacks of insanity at any time previously; persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority; persons with chronic alcoholism; paupers; professional beggars; vagrants; persons afflicted with tuberculosis in any form or with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease…” as well as polygamists, anarchists, and anyone inclined to commit treason against the government. The act also provided for literacy tests for any prospective immigrants over sixteen. This clause stated that if any foreigner could not “read the English language, or some other language or dialect, including Hebrew or Yiddish”, they would also be excluded. 

Even more controversially, the act created an “Asiatic Barred Zone”. In 1882, the landmark Chinese Exclusion Act restricted Chinese immigration to the United States, eventually becoming permanent in 1902; the 1907 “Gentlemen’s Agreement” was an informal accord between both countries that nevertheless did stop immigration from Japan; the creation of the Asiatic Barred Zone spelled further restrictions against immigration from the continent as a whole, continuing the general trend of isolationism, nativism, and xenophobia that manifested itself in legislation and public sentiment. As a result of this act, immigrants living in areas “adjacent to the continent of Asia” (besides any American territorial possessions) and within certain coordinates were denied entry to the country.

The Immigration Act of 1924, which set nationality quotas and further restricted the immigration of non-Western Europeans, finally stopped Asian immigration to the United States altogether. 

  1. marpar12 reblogged this from ushistoryminuswhiteguys
  2. ohhowthetableshaveturned reblogged this from unhistorical
  3. asamstudiesintro reblogged this from karmapts
  4. currentlyonfire reblogged this from dupondius
  5. kickassfanfic reblogged this from debrides
  6. mammaria reblogged this from debrides
  7. wyndia reblogged this from trashy-prince
  8. amostwonderfulhost reblogged this from trashy-prince
  9. puerum-magi reblogged this from apocalypsecanceled
  10. trashy-prince reblogged this from debrides
  11. debrides reblogged this from dupondius
  12. jesusisamanatee reblogged this from dupondius
  13. dupondius reblogged this from debrides and added:
    The Acts also heavily restricted immigration from Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In the immediate...
  14. wigmund reblogged this from debrides
  15. meatsuit reblogged this from ushistoryminuswhiteguys
  16. a-wal reblogged this from brandx and added:
    To this I would like to add http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Restriction_Act_1901 “The Immigration Restriction...
  17. crownthygood reblogged this from ushistoryminuswhiteguys
  18. moonbehindclouds reblogged this from huffpostpolitics
  19. voreyeur reblogged this from robowolves
  20. ryanjhlee reblogged this from ushistoryminuswhiteguys
  21. xladyfoxx reblogged this from pag-asaharibon
  22. iciaricia reblogged this from louiseinwonderland
  23. torukun1 reblogged this from unhistorical
  24. ands0itshallbe reblogged this from yungdragula
  25. yungdragula reblogged this from ushistoryminuswhiteguys
  26. robowolves reblogged this from brandx and added:
    Always extend two giant middle fingers to Woodrow “Awful Shitstain” Wilson.
  27. i-like-to-obsess reblogged this from ushistoryminuswhiteguys