Congress passed the illegal immigration reform and

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Unformatted text preview: ans, African Americans, Asians, and many people of Hispanic or Latin American background faced barriers to assimilation from the earliest years of this country’s history. The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Immigration Policies Although citizenship was restricted to free whites, the United States initially welcomed all newcomers with minimal regulation. In 1882, however, two laws were passed that started a period of steadily tighter immigration restrictions. The first law established qualitative health and moral standards by excluding “criminals, prostitutes, lunatics, idiots, and paupers.” The second law, the Chinese Exclusion Act, denied admission to Chinese immigrants. This law led to further agitation for exclusion of Asians in general, culminating in the Immigration Law of 1924. This law essentially limited immigration of specific groups and denied entry to...
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