Hart-Celler 50 Years On

October 3, 2015

 Author: Arnold Newman, White House Press Office

Today marks the half-century mark of what is one of the most important-and arguably, the most disastrous-pieces of domestic legislation enacted by the United States Congress. Manipulating the national sense of shame over what were genuine grievances felt by black Americans whose fundamental civil rights had been denied, Lyndon Johnson and his former legislative allies abolished the national origins quota system, and in so doing, irreversibly altered the demographic composition of the United States. 

Grafting the desire of those in the developing world to immigrate to what was then-and still is-the richest democratic republic on the planet, onto an overwhelmingly popular crusade for civil rights-belonging to men and women who were born American citizens-proved to be a winning formula for those seeking to elect a new America. However, the results for the country as a whole have been mixed, to say the least. 

Jerry Kammer has a comprehensive historical analysis of this monumental law-as well as an examination of its sponsors and their motivations-at the Center for Immigration studies. It is well worth reading on the day when open borders dogmatists celebrate, but the rest of the nation weeps. 


Tags: , , , Emanuel Celler, , , , , , , , Michael Feighan, National Origins Formula, Pat McCarran, Philip Hart,

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