The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (Pub.L. 82–414, 66 Stat. 163, enacted June 27, 1952), also known as the McCarran–Walter Act, codified under Title 8 of the United States Code (8 U.S.C. ch. 12), governs immigration to and citizenship in the United States. It has been in effect since June 27, 1952. Before this Act, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized within one body of text.
|Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952|
|Other short titles||McCarran–Walter Act|
|Long title||An Act to revise the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality; and for other purposes.|
|Enacted by||the 82nd United States Congress|
|Effective||June 27, 1952|
|Statutes at Large||66 Stat. 163|
|Titles amended||8 U.S.C.: Aliens and Nationality|
|U.S.C. sections created||8 U.S.C. ch. 12|
|USA PATRIOT Act|
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was debated and passed in the context of Cold War-era fears and suspicions of infiltrating Communist and Soviet spies and sympathizers within American institutions and federal government. Anticommunist sentiment associated with the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism in the United States led restrictionists to push for selective immigration to preserve national security. Senator Pat McCarran (D-Nevada), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, proposed an immigration bill to maintain status quo in the United States and to safeguard the country from communism, “Jewish interests”, and undesirables that he deemed as external threats to national security. His immigration bill included restrictive measures such as increased review of potential immigrants, stepped-up deportation, and more stringent naturalization procedures. The bill also placed a preference on economic potential, special skills, and education. In addition, Representative Francis E. Walter (D-Pennsylvania) proposed a similar immigration bill to the House.
In response to the liberal immigration bill of Representative Emanuel Celler (D-New York) and Senator Herbert H. Lehman (D-New York), both Pat McCarran and Francis E. Walter combined their restrictive immigration proposals into the McCarran-Walter bill and recruited support of patriotic and veteran organizations. However, various immigration reform advocacy groups and testimonies by representatives from ethnic coalitions, civil rights organizations, and labor unions challenged proposals of restrictive immigration and pushed for a more inclusive immigration reform. Opponents of the restrictive bill such as Lehman attempted to strategize a way to bring the groups together to resist McCarran’s actions. Despite the efforts to resist, McCarran’s influence as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately overpowered the liberal immigration reform coalition.
President Harry Truman vetoed the McCarran-Walter Act because it continued national-origins quotas that discriminated against potential allies that contained communist groups. However, Congress overrode the veto by a two-thirds vote of each house. The 82nd United States Congress enacted the act, which became effective on June 27, 1952. The passage of the McCarran-Walter bill, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, solidified more restrictive immigration movement in the United States.
The Act abolished racial restrictions found in United States immigration and naturalization statutes going back to the Naturalization Act of 1790. The 1952 Act retained a quota system for nationalities and regions. Eventually, the Act established a preference system that determined which ethnic groups were desirable immigrants and placed great importance on labor qualifications. The Act defined three types of immigrants: immigrants with special skills or who had relatives of U.S. citizens, who were exempt from quotas and who were to be admitted without restrictions; average immigrants whose numbers were not supposed to exceed 270,000 per year; and refugees.
It expanded the definition of the "United States" for nationality purposes, which already included Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, to add Guam. Persons born in these territories on or after December 24, 1952 acquire U.S. citizenship at birth on the same terms as persons born in other parts of the United States.
The McCarran-Walter Act abolished the "alien ineligible to citizenship" category from US immigration law, which in practice only applied to people of Asian descent. Quotas of 100 immigrants per country were established for Asian countries—however, people of Asian descent who were citizens of a non-Asian country also counted towards the quota of their ancestral Asian country. Overall immigration from the "Asiatic barred zone" was capped at 2000 people annually. Passage of the act was strongly lobbied for by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Japanese American Citizens League, Filipino Federation of America, and Korean National Association; though as an incremental measure, as those organizations wished to see national origins quotas abolished altogether.
McCarran-Walter Act allowed for people of Asian descent to immigrate and to become citizens, which had been banned by laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Asian Exclusion Act of 1924. Chinese immigration in particular had been allowed for a decade prior to McCarran-Walter by the Magnuson Act of 1943, which was passed because of America's World War II alliance with China. Japanese Americans and Korean Americans were first allowed to naturalize by the McCarran-Walter Act. Overall changes in the perceptions of Asians were made possible by Cold War politics; the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 allowed anticommunist Chinese American students who feared returning to the Chinese Civil War to stay in the United States; and these provisions would be expanded by the Refugee Relief Act of 1953.
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
The 1952 Act was amended by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, to include a provision stating:
Executive Order 13769, superseding Executive Order 13780 and Presidential Proclamation 9645, all of which were issued in 2017 under the authority of the INAs and sought to impose a blanket restriction on entry into the United States of people from several nations, were challenged in court and parts were initially subject to various restraining orders. On June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the president's authority to implement these restrictions in the case of Trump v. Hawaii.
A 1962 guideline explained procedures under the Act:
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 requires an alien to apply for a petition for naturalization. This form may be obtained from any office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, a division of the Department of Justice, or from any court authorized to naturalize aliens.
Before applying, an alien must be at least 18 years old and must have been lawfully admitted to live permanently in the United States. He must have lived in the United States for five years and for the last six months in the state where he seeks to be naturalized. In some cases, he need only have lived three years in the United States. He must be of good moral character and "attached to the principles of the Constitution". The law states that an alien is not of good moral character if he is a drunkard, has committed adultery, has more than one wife, makes his living by gambling, has lied to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, has been in jail more than 180 days for any reason during his five years in the United States, or is a convicted murderer.
The McCarran-Walter Act linked naturalization to the idea of "good moral character" measured by a person’s ability to behave morally and honor the Constitution and laws of the United States. The concept of “good moral character” dated back to the Naturalization Act of 1790. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 required applicants to be a person of good moral character who adhered to the principles of the Constitution and was in favorable disposition to the United States. The act gave the government the authority to deem an immigrant who lacks good moral character ineligible for admission or naturalization and deport the immigrant who engaged in a list of activities that violated the “good moral character” requirement such as crimes involving moral turpitude, illegal gambling, alcohol use, drug trafficking, prostitution, unlawful voting, fraud, etc. These violations of the good moral character requirement undermined the U.S. national security.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 eliminated the contact labor bar and placed employment-based preferences for aliens with economic potential, skills, and education. In addition, the act created H-1, a temporary visa category for nonimmigrants with merit and ability. The act also created the H-2, a process to approve visa for temporary foreign laborers if there is no one available to work in the labor field.
Before the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration vetted newcomers to the United States and often denied entry to new immigrants on subjective conclusion of perverse acts such as homosexuality, prostitution, sexual deviance, crime of moral turpitude, economic dependency, or perverse bodies like hermaphrodites or individuals with abnormal or small body parts during the 1900-1924. During this time, immigration authorities denied immigrants entry on this subjective basis by issuing “likely to be a public charge.” However, by the 1950s, the immigration authorities solidified this screening measure into law when they enacted a provision against prostitution or any so-called immoral sexual act. In addition, aliens deemed feeble-minded, mentally disabled, physically defects, or professional beggars were also ineligible for admission.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 placed provisions on drinking and substance use as a requirement for admission. The act stated that any immigrant who “is or was…a habitual drunkard” or “narcotic drug addicts or chronic alcoholics” challenged the notion of good moral character, a requirement for citizenship in the United States. As a result, immigrants who participated in excessive alcohol or substance use were inadmissible to the United States.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, polygamy violated the notion of good moral character under Section 101(f). Any alien in a polygamous relationship was inadmissible or ineligible for naturalization as a result. In addition, the polygamy bar denied the polygamous alien to immigration benefits such as employment-based visa, asylum, or relief.
Crime involving moral turpitude were acts, behaviors, or offenses that violate the standards of a country. The concept, “crimes involving moral turpitude,” have been in United States immigration law since the Immigration Act of 1891, which made those who committed crimes involving moral turpitude inadmissible. Despite the difficulty of defining “crimes involving moral turpitude,” the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 established provisions that help define “crimes involving moral turpitude.” Under sections, “Inadmissible aliens” and “Deportable aliens,” aliens were ineligible for naturalization if suspected of or committed criminal convictions, illegal gambling, alcohol use, drug trafficking, prostitution, unlawful voting, etc. within five years of entry. The list of crimes involving moral turpitude lead to removal of the alien.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 deemed aliens who were anarchists or members of or affiliated with the Communist Party or any other totalitarian organizations that plan to overthrow the United States as deportable aliens. Aliens who were successors of any association of Communism, regardless of name changes, still fell under the deportable aliens. Aliens who advocated, taught, wrote, published in support for communism, a totalitarian dictatorship, and the overthrowing of the United States were also deportable aliens.
Under Section 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the Attorney General had the authority to stop the deportation of an alien if the Attorney General believed that the alien would face physical persecution if he or she returns to the country. The period of withholding deportation was up to the Attorney General as well.
The following list provides examples of those who were excluded from the Act prior to the 1990 amendment. While it has not been substantiated that all of these individuals formally petitioned to become United States Citizens, many were banned from traveling to the US because of anti-American political views and/or criminal records. Among those listed, there are noted communists, socialists, and anti-American sympathizers.
Parts of the Act remain in place today, but it has been amended many times and was modified substantially by the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965.
When regulations issued under the authority of the Passport Act of 1926 were challenged in Haig v. Agee, Congress enacted § 707(b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1979 (Pub.L. 95–426, 92 Stat. 993, enacted October 7, 1978), amending § 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act making it unlawful to travel abroad without a passport. Until that legislation, under the Travel Control Act of 1918, the president had the authority to require passports for foreign travel only in time of war.
Some provisions that excluded certain classes of immigrants based on their political beliefs were revoked by the Immigration Act of 1990, however members of Communist Parties are still banned from becoming citizens of the United States.
A few years ago it became known that Pierre Elliott Trudeau, before he became prime minister of Canada, had been barred from travelling to the United States.
By the late years of the Cold War, the prominence of Canadians barred at one time or another from entering the United States became a highly visible public scandal: those so treated included Pierre Elliot Trudeau (on whom the FBI maintained a file, even while he served as prime minister) and the popular writer Farley Mowat, who characteristically parlayed his experience into an entertaining book, My Discovery of America.
The Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States (CLN) is form DS-4083 of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State which is completed by a consular official of the United States documenting relinquishment of United States nationality. The form is prescribed by the Secretary of State under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.
A CLN is used only to document a loss of U.S. nationality and it does not affect the loss of U.S. nationality itself. However some provisions of U.S. regulations require a CLN be issued in order to recognize a person as a non-U.S. national even if as a matter of law that person is already provably not a U.S. national. One example of this are FATCA provisions as currently adopted in the US Code of Federal Regulations.CLNs are applied for and issued at a U.S. consulate or embassy. Persons lacking an alternate nationality or refusing to declare one at the time of application may be listed as being 'stateless' on their CLN.Chinese Exclusion Act
The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. Building on the 1875 Page Act, which banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States, the Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law implemented to prevent all members of a specific ethnic or national group from immigrating.
The act followed the Angell Treaty of 1880, a set of revisions to the U.S.–China Burlingame Treaty of 1868 that allowed the U.S. to suspend Chinese immigration. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902. It was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943, which allowed 105 Chinese to enter per year. Chinese immigration later increased with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which abolished direct racial barriers, and later by Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolished the National Origins Formula.Executive Order 12172
Executive Order 12172 was issued by American president Jimmy Carter on November 26, 1979, shortly after the Iran hostage crisis had started. This Executive Order invoked the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and called for the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to exercise in respect of Iranians holding nonimmigrant visas, the authority conferred upon the President by section 215(a) (1) of the Act of June 27, 1952 (8 USC 1185), to prescribe limitations and exceptions on the rules and regulations governing the entry of aliens into the United States.Immigration Act of 1917
The Immigration Act of 1917 (also known as the Literacy Act and less often as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) was the most sweeping immigration act the United States had passed until that time. It was the second act, after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, aimed at restricting immigrants, and marked a turn toward nativism. The law imposed literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissible persons, and barred immigration from the Asia-Pacific zone. It governed immigration policy until being amended by the Immigration Act of 1924; both were revised by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act (Pub.L. 68–139, 43 Stat. 153, enacted May 26, 1924), was a United States federal law that prevented immigration from Asia, set quotas on the number of immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere, and provided funding and an enforcement mechanism to carry out the longstanding ban on other immigrants.
The 1924 act supplanted earlier acts to effectively ban all immigration from Asia and set a total immigration quota of 165,000 for countries outside the Western Hemisphere, an 80% reduction from the pre-World War I average. Quotas for specific countries were based on 2% of the U.S. population from that country as recorded in 1890. As a result, populations poorly represented in 1890 were prevented from immigrating in proportionate numbers—especially affecting Italians, Jews, Greeks, Poles and other Slavs. According to the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian, the purpose of the act was "to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity." Congressional opposition was minimal.
A key element of the act was its provisions for enforcement. The act provided funding and legal instructions to courts of deportation for immigrants whose national quotas were exceeded. The act was revised in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and replaced by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.Immigration and Nationality Act
The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act may refer to one of several acts including:
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
Immigration Act of 1990Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 also known as the Hart–Celler Act, is a federal law passed by the 89th United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The law abolished the National Origins Formula, which had been the basis of U.S. immigration policy since the 1920s.
Largely to restrict immigration from Asia, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe, the Immigration Act of 1924 had permanently established the National Origins Formula as the basis of U.S. immigration policy. During the 1960s, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the National Origins Formula increasingly came under attack for being racially discriminatory. With the support of the Johnson administration, Senator Philip Hart and Congressman Emanuel Celler introduced a bill to repeal the formula. The bill received wide support from both Democratic and Republican members of Congress, and Johnson signed the Hart-Cellar Act into law on October 3, 1965.
The Hart-Celler Act created seven-category preference system that gives priority to relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, as well as to professionals and other individuals with specialized skills. The act maintained per-country and total immigration limits, but included a provision exempting immediate relatives of U.S. citizens from numerical restrictions. The act also set a numerical limit on immigration from the Western Hemisphere for the first time in U.S. history. Though proponents of the bill had argued that it would not have a major effect on the total level of immigration or the demographic mix of the United States, the act greatly increased the total number of immigrants coming to the United States, as well as the share of immigrants coming to the United States from Asia and Africa.Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez
Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), was a Supreme Court of the United States case in which the Court amended United States nationality law with respect to draft evasion.Kleindienst v. Mandel
Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that the United States Attorney General has the right to refuse somebody's entry to the United States, as he has been empowered to do so in 212 (a) (28) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.
This action was brought to compel Attorney General Richard Kleindienst to grant a temporary nonimmigrant visa to a Belgian journalist and Marxian theoretician whom the American plaintiff-appellees, Ernest Mandel et al., had invited to participate in academic conferences and discussions in the US. The alien had been found ineligible for admission under 212 (a) (28) (D) and (G) (v) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, barring those who advocate or publish "the economic, international, and governmental doctrines of world communism." Kleindienst had declined to waive ineligibility as he has the power to do under 212 (d) of the Act, basing his decision on unscheduled activities engaged in by the alien on a previous visit to the United States, when a waiver was granted.List of people deported or removed from the United States
The following is an incomplete list of notable people who have been deported from the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), particularly the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), handles all matters of deportation. Their decisions may be appealed and reviewed by federal judges. "Only aliens are subject to removal." In other words, any person who is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national cannot be removed from the United States under any circumstances.In several cases (i.e., Charlie Chaplin, Adam Habib and Conrad Gallagher), the orders of deportation and/or exclusion were later lifted. Among many changes in terminology, "removal" superseded "deportation" in 1996 following the enactment of Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA).Aside from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, there was no applicable deportation law in the United States until an 1882 statute specifically geared towards Chinese immigrants. The Alien and Sedition Acts gave the President of the United States the power to arrest and subsequently deport any alien that he deemed as dangerous. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was designed to suspend Chinese immigration to the United States, and deport Chinese residents that were termed as illegally residing in the country. The types of individuals that could be deported from the United States was later reclassified to include those who were insane or carrying a disease, convicts, prostitutes, those entering the United States over the immigration quotas, anarchists, and those that belonged to organizations which supported the overthrow of the United States government by use of violence.Legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1891 gave a time limit of one year after an alien entered the country for the individual to be deported and decreased judicial review of deportation proceedings. The office of superintendent of immigration in the Department of the Treasury was also created with the 1891 enactment, and this responsibility later passed to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). During the Red Scare in 1919, a number of persons were deported under suspicion of illegal activity. The statute of limitations on deportation from the United States was removed under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Deportation laws were cited during the 1950s in order to remove union leaders and alleged members of the Communist party said to be illegally in the country. According to Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, about 23,000 aliens were deported annually from the country during the latter period of the 1980s.If an alien is deemed by the government to be removable, he or she will receive a "notice to appear" (NTA) and later face an immigration judge, who will decide if whether or not the alien is removable from the United States. Either party (the alien or the government prosecutor) may appeal (by legal brief, not in person) an immigration judge's decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If an alien fails to appear for any immigration hearing, he or she is usually ordered removed in absentia. Those individuals who illegally entered the United States constitute the single largest portion of people deported from the country. Once deported or removed, an alien is not allowed to reenter the country unless given special permission to do so by either the DHS or the EOIR. The DHS has placed 164,000 criminals in removal proceedings in 2007, and estimated that figure would be 200,000 for 2008.In 2001, approximately 73,000 illegal aliens with criminal convictions were deported from the United States, and in 2007 this figure was 91,000. In 2011, the DHS deported 396,906 people. Of those deported, 54.6% were criminal offenders.Magnuson Act
The Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, was an immigration legislation proposed by U.S. Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and signed into law on December 17, 1943 in the United States. It allowed Chinese immigration for the first time since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and permitted some Chinese immigrants already residing in the country to become naturalized citizens. However, the Magnuson Act provided for the continuation of the ban against the ownership of property and businesses by ethnic Chinese. In many states, Chinese Americans (including US citizens) were denied property-ownership rights either by law or de facto until the Magnuson Act itself was fully repealed in 1965.This act is first legislation since 1870, which relaxed racial and national immigration barriers in the United States and started the way to the completely non-racial immigration legislation and policy of the late 1960s.
The Magnuson Act was passed on December 17, 1943, two years after China became an official allied nation of the United States in World War II. Although considered a positive development by many, it was particularly restrictive of Chinese immigrants, limiting them to an annual quota of 105 new entry visas. The quota was supposedly determined by the Immigration Act of 1924, which set immigration from qualifying countries at 2% of the number of people who were already living in the United States in 1890 of that nationality. However, the arrived-at number of 105 per annum granted to the Chinese was disproportionately low. (The quota should have been 2,150 per annum, as official census figures place the population of ethnic Chinese living in the USA in 1890 at 107,488 persons.) Regardless of the method of calculation, the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into the USA was disproportionately low in ratio to the sanctioned immigration of other nationalities and ethnicities. Chinese immigration later increased with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which abolished direct racial barriers and later by Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolished the National Origins Formula.McCarren
McCarren is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Andrea McCarren, American television journalist
Bill McCarren (1895–1983), American baseball player
Larry McCarren (born 1951), American football center
Louise McCarren Herring (1909–1987), American credit union pioneer
Patrick H. McCarren (1849–1909), New York politicianNational Origins Formula
The National Origins Formula was an American system of immigration quotas, used between 1921 and 1965, which restricted immigration on the basis of existing proportions of the population. It aimed to reduce the overall number of unskilled immigrants (especially from Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia), to allow families to re-unite, and to prevent immigration from changing the ethnic distribution of the largely Protestant Northwestern European-descended United States population.Nationality Act of 1940
The Nationality Act of 1940 (H.R. 9980; Pub.L. 76-853; 54 Stat. 1137) revised numerous provisions of law relating to American citizenship and naturalization. It was enacted by the 76th Congress of the United States and signed into law on October 14, 1940, a year after World War II had begun in Europe, but before the U.S. entered the war.
The law revised "the existing nationality laws of the U.S. into a more complete nationality code"; it defined those persons who were "eligible for citizenship through birth or naturalization" and clarified "the status of individuals and their children born or residing in the continental U.S., its territories such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Panama and the Canal Zone, or abroad." The law furthermore defined who was not eligible for citizenship, and how citizenship could be lost or terminated. This legislation represents the first attempt ever made, since the founding of the United States, to codify and unify all of the U.S. laws relating to nationality and naturalization.Naturalization Act of 1790
The original United States Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790 (1 Stat. 103) provided the first rules to be followed by the United States in the granting of national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were free White persons of good character. It thus excluded Native Americans, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks and later Asians, although free blacks were allowed citizenship at the state level in certain states. It also provided for citizenship for the children of U.S. citizens born abroad, stating that such children "shall be considered as natural born citizens," the only US statute ever to use the term. It specified that the right of citizenship did "not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."Nguyen v. INS
Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the validity of laws relating to U.S. citizenship at birth for children born outside the United States, out of wedlock, to an American parent. The Court declined to overturn a more restrictive citizenship requirement applying to a foreign-born child of an American father and a non-American mother who was not married to the father, as opposed to a child born to an American mother under similar circumstances.Section 309 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 as amended (codified as section 1409 of Title 8 of the United States Code) deals with U.S. citizenship for children born outside the U.S., out of wedlock, to an American parent. If a child is born abroad, out of wedlock, to an American mother, the child automatically acquires U.S. citizenship at birth, provided the mother had "previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year". An illegitimate foreign-born child of an American father and an alien mother, on the other hand, is recognized as a U.S. citizen only if a much more complex and stringent set of conditions are met: the father's paternity must be convincingly established prior to the child's 18th birthday, and the father must also agree in writing to provide financial support to the child until he or she reaches age 18.Tuan Anh Nguyen was born in Vietnam to an American father and a Vietnamese mother who were not married. He moved to the United States with his father and became a legal permanent resident of the U.S. at age six, but his father did not attempt to establish any claim of U.S. citizenship for the boy. At age 22, Nguyen pleaded guilty to sexual assault; this made him subject to deportation based on his criminal record.Nguyen's father obtained evidence of parentage in an attempt to have his son recognized as a U.S. citizen, but his efforts were rejected by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) because 8 U.S.C. § 1409 required any such evidence to have been presented before the child's 18th birthday. Nguyen—together with his father—mounted a court challenge to the law, claiming that 8 U.S.C. § 1409 was unconstitutionally discriminatory because it imposed stricter requirements for a foreign-born illegitimate child of an American father than would have applied if his American parent had been his mother.The Supreme Court rejected Nguyen's arguments and upheld the law denying him citizenship, holding by a 5–4 majority that 8 U.S.C. § 1409 was consistent with the equal protection principle, applied through the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. In the opinion of the Court (written by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy), the Court ruled that although the statute was discriminatory, "it serve[d] important governmental objectives and that the discriminatory means employed [were] substantially related to the achievement of those objectives". The Court found that Congress' decision to impose different requirements on unmarried fathers and unmarried mothers was "based on the significant difference between their respective relationships to the potential citizen at the time of birth". First, the Court noted that whereas a mother's biological relationship to her child is easily verified and documented, the same cannot be said of the father. Second, the Court concluded that the law was designed "to ensure that the child and citizen parent have some demonstrated opportunity to develop... a relationship... that consists of the real, everyday ties that provide a connection between child and citizen parent and, in turn, the United States"—something that was inherent in the case of an American mother and her child, but not inevitable in the case of a single father.Even though Nguyen's father had submitted DNA evidence proving the father-son relationship, the Court noted that "scientific proof of biological paternity does nothing, by itself, to ensure contact between father and child during the child's minority". In the end, the Court held that Congress was "well within its authority in refusing, absent proof of at least the opportunity for the development of a relationship between citizen parent and child, to commit this country to embracing a child as a citizen".A concurring opinion by Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas proposed that the Supreme Court simply did not have the power of "conferral of citizenship on a basis other than that prescribed by Congress". The dissent (written by Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) concluded that the INS "[had] not shown an exceedingly persuasive justification for the sex-based classification... because it [had] failed to establish at least that the classification substantially relate[d] to the achievement of important government objectives", and on that basis the minority would have ruled in Nguyen's favor.An earlier case, Miller v. Albright, 523 U.S. 420 (1998), suggested a similar conclusion to that given in Nguyen v. INS, but had failed to support it by a clear majority.After the Supreme Court decision, the INS attempted to deport Nguyen, but was unsuccessful because of a Vietnamese government policy barring the repatriation of convicts from the United States.Nguyen and his father sought to reopen the deportation proceedings, and when this effort was unsuccessful, appealed to the courts again, claiming that the refusal by the Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen Nguyen's case deprived him of due process of law and denied the father's right to enjoy his son's companionship. This appeal was rejected by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005.Refugee Relief Act
The Refugee Relief Act of 1953 was an act of legislation passed by the 83rd United States Congress. It was the United States's second refugee admissions and resettlement law, following the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, which expired at the end of 1952. It resulted in the admission of 214,000 immigrants to the United States, including 60,000 Italians, 17,000 Greeks, 17,000 Dutch and 45,000 immigrants from communist countries. The act expired in 1956.
Initially, the bill was called the Emergency Migration Act and intended as a response to President Dwight D. Eisenhower's request for emergency legislation to admit more immigrants from Southern Europe, who were excluded according to the quotas of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (the "McCarran-Walter Act").The bill was renamed by Senator McCarran, and a number of provisions were added with the effect of complicating the determination of eligibility of applicants. Applicants were required to undergo a thorough security screening, including a verifiable history of their activities for two years prior to application.The bill passed the House of Representatives with a 221-185, with the support of a majority of Democrats and an even split among Republicans. The United States Senate passed the bill on a voice vote, with Senator McCarran opposed. The act was signed into law by President Eisenhower on August 7, 1953.The act defined refugees as people who lack "the essentials of life." In order to be eligible for admission, refugees were required to evidence a guarantee of a home and job by a U.S. resident. Italian-Americans and Greek-Americans were permitted to pre-empt refugee quotas to admit their relatives.In 1955, Edward Corsi, who had been appointed to administer the act, was dismissed as the result of a conflict with State Department Security Director Scott McLeod. Representative Francis Walter accused Corsi of association with a Communist-affiliated group. Corsi said that the administration of the act was hampered by an obsessive "psychology of security", and the refugees were being "investigated to death".Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc.
Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, 509 U.S. 155 (1993), is a case in which U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the President's executive order that all aliens intercepted on the high seas could be repatriated and that executive order was not limited by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 or Article 33 of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
Originally, the United States and the Haitian government made an agreement in 1981 to stop all vessels coming to the United States and return any undocumented aliens who were not refugees and would not be harmed upon return.
After a regime change in Haiti, American policy changed and was interpreted that all undocumented aliens would be sent back unless they landed and made an entry onto the territory of the United States.
The case came before the court on March 2, 1993, and was decided on June 21, 1993. The oral argument for the defendant was made by then Yale law professor Harold Koh (from 2009 to 2013, Koh was the Legal Adviser of the Department of State).
The 8-1 decision was delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens with Justice Harry Blackmun dissenting, and overturned a decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
A slightly different case with the name Haitian Centers Council v. Sale was argued and won by Mr. Koh's team of law students from Yale before Judge Sterling Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Lead counsel was provided on a pro bono basis by Joe Tringali of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. However, this decision was later vacated due to a negotiated settlement deal made by the Clinton Administration and Yale Law School. The full background and details of both cases are found in the book Storming the Court by Brandt Goldstein.Uniting American Families Act
The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA, H.R. 519, S. 296) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to eliminate discrimination in immigration by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and of lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and of lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships. If the partnership ends within two years, the sponsored partner's immigrant status would be subject to review.Beginning in the 111th Congress, the full text of UAFA, further expanded to provide rights to the children or stepchildren of the foreign-born partner, has been included as Title II of the Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 717), an immigration reform bill, last introduced in the United States House of Representatives on February 14, 2013, by California Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA).UAFA was introduced on February 13, 2013, in the United States Senate by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and in the United States House of Representatives by New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). The Senate version has 29 cosponsors. The Senate legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Most of the cosponsors are Democrats and there is little Republican support for the legislation. The 2013 bill was cosponsored by Republican Congressmen Charlie Dent and Richard L. Hanna.
There are an estimated 36,000 same-sex binational couples in 2000, according to the Census, who could benefit from this act.
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