Immigration Restriction

The American eugenics movement greatly influenced U.S. policies regarding immigration. Policy writers were interested in the eugenics movement and immigration because the nativist side of eugenics focused on keeping the American race “pure” from immigrants who were seen as “unfit.” Harry Laughlin’s statistical research was used as testimony in Congress to support passage of the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924. This law set an annual ceiling on the number of immigrants allowed entrance into the U.S., regardless of origin, except Arians, who were totally excluded. Also, the 1890 Census was used to determine the quota of annual immigrants. By using the 1890 and not 1920 Census, the law discriminated against Southeaster Europeans in favor of Northwestern Europeans.

Immigration Restriction Documents:


Biological Arguments


Hybridized Populations


National Origins Quotas