Immigration Acts, 1921, 1924, Quota

Jennifer Su

Immigration Act of 1921

This act is also known as the Emergency Quota Act or the Emergency Act of 1921 and this act restricted immigration into the United States. Although this was was originally intended as a temporary legislation, it eventually established a permanent "quota" system. The Emergency Quota Act restricted the number of immigrants admitted from any country annually to 3% of the number of residents from that same country.

Immigration Act of 1924

This act was also known as the Johnson-Reed Act, the National Origins Act, and the Asian Exclusion Act and it was a law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country. It reduced the percentage to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the US. This is comparable to the percentage in the Immigration restriction Act of 1921 when there was a 3% cap set. The law was primarily aimed at further restricting immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans. In addition, it severely restricted the immigration of Africans, Arabs, East Asians, and Indians.


These were the first federal law in US history to limit the immigration of Europeans. At the time, the Americans feared the Europeans and felt that they not only did not adapt well into the American lifestyle but also that they threatened the existence of America. After the initial shock of the "temporary" legislature in 1921, the formal Immigration Act of 1924 came along. This law was passed mostly by the perception that individuals of the other races were inferior and didn't want America to be covered with these people. This perception and these laws greatly reflected the though and attitude of the times.