The Public Interest

Immigration policy: who gets in and why?

Elliott Abrams & Franklin S. Abrams

Winter 1975

IN 1965, a major reform which had been urged by liberals for decades made radical changes in American immigration policy. The passage of the hnmigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was hailed as a great advance in American social policy, for it abolished the discriminatory “national origins quota systenfwhich had so heavily favored Northern arid Western Europeans. The 1965 reform was proclaimed as both the most humanitarian and the most sensible immigration policy in the nations history, for it asked of tile alien not what was his place of birth, but what family ties he had to America or what skills he possessed. The reuniting of families and the admission of needed workers were the keystones of the new policy.

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