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One hundred years ago the U.S. Government processed immigrants through a quota system - entry would be granted if the applicants arrived before the quota amount arriving from their country had not been reached - and if they passed their physical examination. The immigration agents did not accept one nationality for citizenship officially while permitting hundreds of thousands from this same country to reside illegally, as is the practice today. The attached column pertains to how unfair the quota system was and how it tended to break-up families. President Harding's response to this issue is quoted.

"...many would-be immigrants arriving at the port of New York had been refused admission and been sent home again, because they had happened to arrive a few hours after their country's legal quota for the month..."

Read about the radio program that was produced by the WPA writers and actors branch in order to celebrate American diversity; click here.

     


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National Quotas in 1920s Immigration Policy  (The Independent, 1921)

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