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Section 3

Immigration and Naturalization

This section presents statistics related to immigration, naturalization, and alien registration. The principal source of these data is the Annual Report of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Immigration statistics are prepared from entry documents. Statistics for naturalizations are compiled from periodic reports by courts conducting such proceedings, and those for alien registrations are compiled from alien address report cards.

The continuous record of immigration into the United States began in 1819, under the Act of March 2. Immigration statistics were compiled by the Department of State from 1820 to 1874 and by the Treasury Department from 1867 to 1895. Since 1892 there has been a separate office or bureau of immigration, now a part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Information on immigration and naturalization has been included in annual reports issued by the Office of Immigration from 1892 to 1932, the Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1940, the Attorney General for 1941, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service since then.

Immigration. Since 1820 the official immigration statistics (see table 141) have changed considerably in coverage. The early figures were for arrivals at Atlantic and Gulf coast seaports of the United States. Pacific coast arrivals were first reported in 1850. Aliens arriving at Canadian seaports en route to the United States were included after 1893. The reporting of arrivals over the land borders began in 1904. Prior to 1868, arriving alien passengers were recorded; thereafter, aliens coming for temporary stay were omitted. The passage of the Act of 1891 increased the number of excludable classes. The basis of reporting was then changed from arrivals to admissions, omitting aliens not permitted to enter the United States, except for the period 1895 to 1897 when the reporting of arrivals was resumed.

Immigrant.—An immigrant is defined as an alien, other than a returning resident alien, admitted for permanent residence. Prior to July 1, 1968 (see p. 92) quotas limited immigration only from Eastern Hemisphere countries. Until 1920 there was only a qualitative limitation into this country. The 1921 Act placed the first numerical ceiling upon immigration. Each country's quota was to be 3 percent of the number of people born in that country who were residing in the United States as reported by the 1910 Census of Population.

In 1924, a new formula was enacted for computing a country's quota, based on 2 percent of the number of people born in that country who were residing in the United States as determined by the 1890 Census of Population. The 1924 Act also provided that, beginning July 1, 1929, the quota of any country shall have the same ratio to 150,000 as the number of persons of that national origin living in the United States had to the total population living in the United States as determined from the 1920 Census of Population. This Act also established minimum quotas of 100 for all quota areas.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 simplified the national origins formula of the 1924 Act by basing the annual quota on a flat one-sixth of 1 percent of the population in the 1920 Census. Quotas revised by Presidential proclamation totaled 158,261 in 1967.

Effective December 1, 1965, quotas under the 1952 Act were continued but made subject to a new preference system. Moreover, at the end of each year, until July 1, 1968, the numbers allocated to each country which were not used were transferred to an immigration pool and made available to preference immigrants who could not obtain visas because the quota for their country was exhausted. The allocations from the pool and from existing numbers could not exceed 170,000.

Also effective December 1, 1965, the "quota immigrant" of the 1952 Act is called "immigrant" and the "nonquota immigrant" is called "immediate relative" or "special immigrant." Immediate relatives of United States citizens are parents (if the citizen is over age 21), spouses, and children under age 21. They are exempted from the numerical ceilings.

Special immigrants include returning resident aliens (although these are often classed as nonimmigrants for statistical purposes), certain former citizens, and certain other specified groups. The spouses and children under age 21 of the following groups are included if they are accompanying or following to join such immigrants: Western Hemisphere natives, retired employees of our government abroad, and ministers of religion. Special immigrants are also exempt from the numerical ceilings.

Effective July 1, 1968, a ceiling of 120,000 was set for Western Hemisphere natives on a first-come first-served basis with no limitation on the number from any one country. "Immediate relatives" and "special immigrants" other than those in the latter category because of Western Hemisphere birth continue to be exempt from numerical ceilings. Effective December 1, 1968, a limit of 170,000 was set for immigrants who are natives of the Eastern Hemisphere, with a 20,000 maximum on natives of any one country. Selection is made on the basis of preferences favoring family reunification and persons with skills and talents needed here.

Nonimmigrant.—Nonimmigrants are aliens who enter the United States for temporary periods. Included in the nonimmigrant class are foreign government officials, their families, attendants, servants, and employees; temporary visitors for business or pleasure; aliens in continuous transit through the United States; students; and others. Resident aliens returning from a temporary stay abroad are often classed as nonimmigrants, although they are legally special immigrants. Certain temporary admissions such as of persons in possession of border-crossing identification cards are not included in the nonimmigrant totals.

Displaced persons and refugees.-The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 was the first of eight special acts passed between 1948 and 1960 that provided for the admission of refugees from Communist-dominated countries, victims of natural calamities, and orphan children without regard to the usual numerical ceilings.

Status of Cubans.-Effective November 2, 1966, Cubans admitted or paroled into the United States after January 1, 1959, and present in the United States for at least 2 years may obtain permanent resident status. A record of the alien's admission for permanent residence will be created as of 30 months prior to filing of an application or the date of his last arrival in the United States, whichever is later. Cuban immigrants who have been admitted for permanent residence may also have the date of admission adjusted to a date 30 months prior to the date of this Act.

Alien registration. The Immigration and Nationality Act provides that each alien who is required to be registered under the Alien Registration Act of 1940, and who is in the United States on January 1, must report his current address to the Attorney General during the month of January. Alien address report cards are distributed through the post offices of the United States or the local offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Naturalization.-Naturalization statistics for the United States began with the fiscal year 1907. Prior to this time each court kept records of naturalizations but no national data were compiled. The Act of June 29, 1906, effective September 27, 1906, provided for periodic returns by all courts conducting naturalization proceedings, and for the filing with a central Federal agency of a duplicate copy of each declaration of intention and petition for naturalization filed, and of each certificate of naturalization issued. Naturalization statistics were originally compiled by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Department of Commerce and Labor, now the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice.

Historical statistics.-Tabular headnotes provide cross-references, where applicable, to Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957. See preface.

Immigration and Naturalization



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Source of figs. VI and VII: Charts prepared by U.S. Bureau of the Census. Data from U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

494-660 O-73-8

No. 141. IMMIGRATION: 1820 TO 1972

[In thousands, except rate. For years ending June 30, except as noted. For 1820-1867, allen passengers arriving; 1868-1891 and 1895-1897, immigrants arriving; 1892-1894 and 1898 to the present, immigrants admitted. Rates based on Bureau of the Census estimates as of July 1 for resident population through 1929, and for total population thereafter (excluding Alaska and Hawaii prior to 1959). See also Historical Statistics, Colonial Times to 1957, series C 88 and C 140-144]

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1 Annual rate per 1,000 population. 10-year rate computed by dividing sum of annual U.S. population totals by sum of annual immigrant totals for same 10 years.

2 Oct. 1, 1819-Sept. 30, 1830. 3 Oct. 1, 1830-Dec. 31, 1840. 4 Calendar years. Jan. 1, 1861-June 30, 1870. Source: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Annual Report, and unpublished data.

No. 142. ANNUAL IMMIGRATION QUOTAS, BY COUNTRY, BY LAW: 1921 TO 1965 [See text, pp. 91-92 for numerical limitations beginning Dec. 1, 1965, and July 1, 1968; and Historical Statistics, Colonial Times to 1957, series C 139]

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Represents zero. 1 Prior to 1924, Iceland included with Denmark. Prior to 1925, all Ireland included with Great Britain; thereafter, only Northern Ireland. Prior to 1963, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, included with Great Britain, 1963 through 1965, separate quotas of 100 each were estab ished.

Source: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Annual Report.

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No. 143. IMMIGRANTS, BY COUNTRY OF LAST PERMANENT RESIDENCE: 1820 TO 1972 [For years ending June 30. Data prior to 1906 refer to country from which aliens came. Because of boundary changes and changes in list of countries separately reported, data for certain countries not comparable throughout. See also Historical Statistics, Colonial Times to 1957, series C 88-114]

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Z Less than 0.05 percent.

11938-1945, Austria included with Germany; 1899-1919, Poland included with

Austria-Hungary, Germany, and U.S.S.R.

Beginning 1952, includes data for United Kingdom not specified, formerly included with "Other Europe." * Comprises Eire and Northern Ireland. Beginning 1957, includes Taiwan.

Prior to 1951, included with "Other Asia." Prior to 1951, Philippines included with "Pacific Islands." Prior to 1951, included with "Other America." Prior to 1951, included with "West Indies."

Source: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Annual Report.

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