|LBJ signing the Immigration Act of 1965 into law|
On October 3, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965 into law. The legislation abolished the national origins quota system, a system that favored European immigration over immigration from Asia, Africa, and other non-European areas. The national origins quota system had been in place since the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1924.
When first enacted, supporters of the Immigration Act of 1965 saw the new policy largely as a matter of fairness and non-discrimination. Both Senator Edward Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, in 1965, greatly underestimated the significance of the law.
In short, the Immigration Act of 1965--also known as the Hart-Cellar Act--opened up the United States to millions of immigrants from all over the world. The 1965 act, in conjunction with subsequent modifications, facilitated the racial-ethnic diversification of the American population. Moreover, the sustained population growth of the United States in the last 40 years has stemmed, in part, from robust immigration.
NPR: The Immigration Act of 1965
The Immigration Act of 1965
Summary of Major U.S. Immigration Laws
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