The McCarran-Walter Act 1952

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 restricted immigration into the U.S.
  • McCarran-Walter act discriminated against potential immigrants from Asia, Southern and Central Europe
  • McCarran felt the law created the sense that Americans thought people fro Eastern Europe as less desirable and people from Asia inferior to those of European descent.
  • Economic factors were relativity unimportant in the debate over the new immigration provisions.
  • The Act continued to practice of not including countries in the West Hemisphere in the quota system, though it did introduce new length of residency requirements to qualify for quota-free entry.
  • Breaking down the "Asiatic Barred Zone" was a step toward improving U.S. relations with Asian nations.
  • Asiatic Barred Zone: The Immigration Act of 1917 (also known as the Literacy Act and less often as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) was the most sweeping immigration act the United States had passed until that time. It was the first bill aimed at restricting, as opposed to regulating, immigrants and marked a turn toward nativism.
  • President Truman vetoed McCarren's bill, calling it "one of the most un-American acts I have ever witnessed in my public career." Congress, however, passed the bill over the President's veto.
President Truman signs Philippine Immigration Bill, July 2, 1946

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