Passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the US Congress placed a limitation on the number of immigrants allowed in from the Western Hemisphere, for the first time in our history.  This Act abolished the national origins quota system that had ruled US immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it with a preference system based on immigrants’ skills and family relationships with US citizens or residents. (For those of us who are geographically challenged, the term “Western Hemisphere” includes certain countries in Europe as well as South and Central America. Yes,  I know that they’re South, not West.  I didn’t define this stuff.)

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