The Immigration Act of 1924 established a small discriminatory quota for Italians

The Immigration Act of 1924 established a small discriminatory quota for Italians

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• The Immigration Act of 1924 established a small discriminatory quota for Italians. By 1929, the annual quota for Italians was only 5,802, compared with 65,721 for Great Britain. The quota system was based on nativists’ belief that those countries that had furnished the most “good American citizens”—that is, Protestant immigrants prior to 1890—should receive the largest quotas. • By the time the 1965 Immigration Act replaced the national-origin quota system, there was a backlog of 250,000 immigration applicants. Gradually, by the late 1970s, that backlog was exhausted, and since that time the number of Italian immigrants has dropped sharply. • More that 11 million Americans listed Italian as their first ancestry in the 1990 census; most of
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Unformatted text preview: these were U.S. born. Counting both first and second ancestries listed by respondents in the census 2000 supplementary survey, the census bureau estimated that there were 15.9 million Italian Americans in 2000, making them one of the largest ancestry groups in the United States. Most immigrants worked as unskilled laborers, often on transportation systems such as canals and railroads and on water and sewer systems. Pay was low, and individuals as well as families were usually poor. Segregated in Little Italy ghettos within cities, Italian immigrants and their children frequently faced economic, political, and social discrimination....
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