How Silent Cal Quietly Pursued Immigration Reform

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Their policies allegedly bolstered European immigration at the expense of all others but how would they work with today’s population mix? “When Warren G. Harding became president in 1921, he expanded restrictions on immigration,” Mark Malvasi, an historian at Randolph-Macon College writes. “The result was the Johnson, or Emergency Quota, Act.”

“The Johnson Act decreed that total immigration could not exceed 357,000 persons a year. Congress apportioned quotas to every nation, essentially limiting entry to 3 percent of each nationality in the United States as reported in the census of 1910.”

“In May, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Johnson-Reed, or the National Origins, Act, which reduced quotas to 2 percent of each nationality present in the United States in 1890, virtually eliminating immigration from anywhere save northern and western Europe.”

Could they have been ahead of their time?