Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This Day in History February 5, 1917

I think immigration has always been an issue in our country, and I believe this day's feature points to this quite well.  On this date in 1917, the Immigration Act of 1917 (also called the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) was passed by Congress--over President Wilson's veto of December 14, 1916.  Here is a partial list of banned peoples from coming into the U.S.:
“homosexuals”, “idiots”, “feeble-minded persons”, "criminals", “epileptics”, “insane persons”, alcoholics, “professional beggars”, all persons “mentally or physically defective”, polygamists, and anarchists.
A literacy test was also required.  Also, any country adjacent to the continent of Asia were barred from entering (hence the alternate name of the act).  The act was not revised until 1952.  Can we not be glad that this act is no longer in place?

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