Congress Tightened Immigration Laws 100 Years Ago

It was 100 years ago this Sunday, on Feb. 5, 1917, that the U.S passed what was at the time the nation’s strictest-ever regulation of immigration.

The 1917 law, which passed over multiple vetoes by President Woodrow Wilson, raised the tax imposed on most adult immigrants, and also imposed several kinds of restrictions on the people who were allowed to come to the U.S.

Upon vetoing a version of the act in 1915, Woodrow Wilson was quoted:  “The right of political asylum has brought to this country many a man of noble character and elevated purpose who was marked as an outlaw in his own less fortunate land, and who has yet become an ornament to our citizenship and to our public councils. The children and the compatriots of these illustrious Americans must stand amazed to see the representatives of their Nation now resolved, in the fullness of our national strength and at the maturity of our great institutions, to risk turning such men back from our shores without test of quality or purpose.”

Full story is here if interested