Will They Let Me In?

From a stereograph copyright 1905
by Underwood & Underwood, NY

It is a serious matter to many a man who has invested his all in a ticket for the New World to face the possibility of rejection.

During the late 19th century, the United States imposed its first restrictions on immigration. The earliest immigration restrictions were aimed at Asian immigrants. The United States imposed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. It barred the entry of Chinese laborers and established stringent conditions under which Chinese merchants and their families could enter. Also in 1882, the United States excluded people likely to become public charges. It subseqeuntly barred contract laborers (1885), illiterates (1917), and all Asian immigrants (except for Filipinos, who were U.S. nationals) (1917). Other acts restricted the entry of certain criminals, "dangerous radicals," people who were considered immoral, those suffering certain diseases, and paupers.

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