Quota Control and the National Origin System

November 1, 1926

Report Outline
Development of American Immigration Policy
The National Origin System

The Immigration Act of 1924 provides that on or before April 1, 1927 the President shall issue a proclamation revising the quotas at present allotted to the countries sending immigrants to the United States. The coming into effect of the new quotas, July 1, 1927, will mark the final passage from the experimental to the permanent stage in government control of immigration.

The presidential proclamation, for which provision is made in the “national origin” section of the 1924 act, will base the new quotas upon the number of inhabitants of the United States, as shown by the census of 1920, whose origin by birth or ancestry is attributable to each foreign country. The present quotas are based upon the number of foreign-born individuals of each nationality in the United States at the time of the 1890 census.

Under the present quotas a total of 164,667 immigrants may be admitted to the United States annually. The new quotas will limit the number of quota immigrants to 150,000 annually. According to unofficial estimates, the most striking changes when the new national origin plan comes into effect will be an increase of more than 50,000, or 150 per cent, in the British quota, a reduction of 30,000 in the German quota and a reduction of 20,000 in the quota of the Irish Free State.

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