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McCarran-Walter Act


McCARRAN-WALTER ACT (1952). The act revised and consolidated all previous laws regarding immigration, naturalization, and nationality. It retained the national-origin system of the Immigration Act of 1924, which gave preference to immigrants from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany. But it also removed race as a bar to immigration and naturalization, so that countries whose citizens were previously ineligible were assigned annual quotas of not fewer than 100 persons. In addition, it removed gender discrimination; gave preference to aliens with special skills; and provided for more rigorous security screening. The law aroused much opposition, mainly on the grounds that it discriminated in favor of northern and western European nations. It passed over President Harry S. Truman's veto and remained in effect until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.


Hing, Bill Ong. Making and Remaking Asian America through Immigration Policy, 1850 ;1990. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1993.

Ueda, Reed. Postwar Immigrant America. Boston: St. Martin's Press, 1994.

Charles S. Campbell Jr.

Andrew C. Rieser

See also Immigration ; Immigration Restriction ; Naturalization .

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