"The Pew Research Center's recent study concluding that the number of Asian immigrants moving to the United States now exceeds the number of Latinos hardly seems surprising to me or many of my fellow immigration attorneys. My law firm, Wildes & Weinberg P.C., which has focused exclusively on United States immigration matters for more than 50 years, has seen a dramatic uptick in the number...
1917 Immigration Act
"The 1917 Immigration Act, also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, was a law passed by Congress on February 5, 1917 that restricted the immigration of 'undesirables' from other countries, including 'idiots, imbeciles, epileptics, alcoholics, poor, criminals, beggars, any person suffering attacks of insanity, those with tuberculosis, and those who have any form of dangerous contagious disease, aliens who have a physical disability that will restrict them from earning a living in the United States..., polygamists and anarchists, those who were against the organized government or those who advocated the unlawful destruction of property and those who advocated the unlawful assault of killing of any officer.' Prostitutes and anyone involved in or with prostitution were also barred from entering the United States.
A tax of $8 a head was imposed on immigrants, except children under sixteen accompanying a parent, and those over 16 who had not paid for their own ticket were prohibited from entering the country.
One of the key aspects of the 1917 Act was that people from what was called the Asiatic Barred Zone were restricted from entering the country. 'Any country not owned by the U.S. adjacent to the continent of Asia' along specified longitudes and latitudes were restricted from immigrating.
Another important provision of the Immigration Act was the literacy test imposed on immigrants entering the country. Those who were over the age of 16 and could read some language must read 30 to 40 words to show they are capable of reading. Those who were entering the US to avoid religious persecution from their country of origin did not have to pass this test.
Under the Act immigrants were documented according to destinations in the U.S., physical descriptions, and country of origin among other things. Captains of the vessels the immigrants came over on were responsible for gathering this information. Medical examinations were also required by the ship’s doctor and port authorities before entering the country.
Described throughout the Immigration Act are many penalties and fines for violating the laws written within. Overall the Immigration Act of 1917 was intended to tighten the restrictions on those entering the country, especially from the area of Asia and surrounding countries and those with mental and physical handicaps."
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