DEPRESSION & WORLD WAR II IMMIGRATION LAWS, 1929-1948
Immigration Act of March 4, 1929 (45 Statutes-at-Large 1551)
1. Added two deportable classes, consisting of aliens convicted of carrying any weapon or bomb and sentenced to any term of six months or more, and aliens convicted of violation of the prohibition law for which a sentence of one year or more is received.
2. Made reentry of a previously deported alien a felony punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
3. Made entry by an alien at other than at a designated place or by fraud to be a misdemeanor punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
4. Deferred the deportation of an alien sentenced to imprisonment until the termination of the imprisonment.
Fish Act of February 18, 1931 (46 Statutes-at-Large 1171)
Provided for the deportation of any alien convicted of violation of U.S. laws concerning the importation, exportation, manufacture, or sale of heroin, opium, or coca leaves.
Immigration Act of July 11, 1932 (47 Statutes-at-Large 656)
Provided exemption from quota limits (i.e., give nonquota status) the husbands of American citizens, provided that the marriage occurred prior to issuance of the visa and prior to July 1, 1932. Wives of citizens were accorded nonquota status regardless of the time of marriage.
Immigration Act of May 14, 1937 (50 Statutes-at-Large 164)
Made deportable any alien who at any time after entering the United States:
1. was found to have secured a visa through fraud by contracting a marriage which subsequent to entry into the United States had been judicially annulled retroactively to the date of the marriage; or
2. failed or refused to fulfill his promises for a marital agreement made to procure his entry as an immigrant.
Alien Registration Act of June 28, 1940 (54 Statutes-at-Large 670)
1. Required registration of all aliens and fingerprinting those over 14 years of age.
2. Established additional deportable classes, including aliens convicted of smuggling, or assisting in the illegal entry of, other aliens.
3. Amended the Act of October 16, 1919, making past membership——in addition to present membership——in proscribed organizations and subversive classes of aliens grounds for exclusion and deportation.
4. Amended the Immigration Act of 1917, authorizing, in certain meritorious cases, voluntary departure in lieu of deportation, and suspension of deportation.
Public Safety Act of June 20, 1941 (55 Statutes-at-Large 252)
Directed a consular officer to refuse a visa to any alien seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in activities which would endanger the safety of the United States.
Act of June 21, 1941 (55 Statutes-at-Large 252)
Extended the Act of May 22, 1918——gave the President power, during a time of national emergency or war, to prevent departure from or entry into the United States.
Act of April 29, 1943 (57 Statutes-at-Large 70)
Provided for the importation of temporary agricultural laborers to the United States from North, South, and Central America to aid agriculture during World War II. This program was later extended through 1947, then served as the legal basis of the Mexican ""Bracero Program,"" which lasted through 1964.
Act of December 17, 1943 (57 Statutes-at-Large 600)
Amended the Alien Registration Act of 1940, adding to the classes eligible for naturalization Chinese persons or persons of Chinese descent. A quota of 105 per year was established (effectively repealing the Chinese Exclusion laws).
War Brides Act of December 28, 1945 (59 Statutes-at-Large 659)
Waived visa requirements and provisions of immigration law excluding physical and mental defectives when they concerned members of the American armed forces who, during World War II, had married nationals of foreign countries.
G.I. Fiancees Act of June 29, 1946 (60 Statutes-at-Large 339)
Facilitated the admission to the United States of fiance(e)s of members of the American armed forces.
Displaced Persons Act of June 25, 1948 (62 Statutes-at-Large 1009)
First expression of U.S. policy for admitting persons fleeing persecution. Permitted the admission of up to 205,000 displaced persons during the two-year period beginning July 1, 1948 (chargeable against future year’’s quotas). Aimed at reducing the problem created by the presence in Germany, Austria, and Italy of more than one million displaced persons.