Elizabeth Kolsky, PhD, Assistant Professor of History at Pratt Institute, in a Spring 1998 University of Texas' SAGAR: South Asian Graduate Research Journal article entitled "Less Successful Than the Next: South Asian Taxi Drivers in New York City," stated:
"In 1965, the United States passed the landmark Hart-Celler Act, abolishing nation-of-origin restrictions. Effective June 30, 1968, immigration and naturalization exclusion on the basis of race, sex, or nationality was prohibited. Under the Hart-Celler Act, new immigration criteria was based on kinship ties, refugee status, and 'needed skills.' Between 1820 and 1960, 34.5 million Europeans immigrated to the U.S., while only one million Asians—mostly Chinese and Japanese—immigrated. An unintended, unanticipated, and highly evident effect of Hart-Celler was the burgeoning of Asian immigration.
Between 1870-1965, a total of 16,013 Indians immigrated to the United States. In the first decade following the passage of the 1965 Hart-Celler Act, 96,735 Indians immigrated. For the most part, these new Indian immigrants entered under the needed skills preference of the 1965 law."
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in a document entitled "Legislation from 1961-1980, Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of October 3, 1965," posted on "Legal Immigration History" website section (accessed Apr. 13, 2007), offered the following summary:
"a. Abolished the national origins
quota system (see the Immigration Act of 1924 and the Immigration and
Nationality Act of 1952), eliminating national origin, race, or ancestry
as a basis for immigration to the United States.
allocation of immigrant visas on a first come, first served basis,
subject to a seven-category preference system for relatives of U.S.
citizens and permanent resident aliens (for the reunification of
families) and for persons with special occupational skills, abilities,
or training (needed in the United States).
c. Established two
categories of immigrants not subject to numerical restrictions: 1.
Immediate relatives (spouses, children, parents) of U.S. citizens, and
2. Special immigrants: certain ministers of religion; certain former
employees of the U.S. government abroad; certain persons who lost
citizenship (e.g., by marriage or by service in foreign armed forces);
and certain foreign medical graduates.
d. Maintained the
principle of numerical restriction, expanding limits to world coverage
by limiting Eastern Hemisphere immigration to 170,000 and placing a
ceiling on Western Hemisphere immigration (120,000) for the first time.
However, neither the preference categories nor the 20,000 per-country
limit were applied to the Western Hemisphere.
e. Introduced a prerequisite for the issuance of a visa of an
affirmative finding by the Secretary of Labor that an alien seeking to
enter as a worker will not replace a worker in the United States nor
adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed
individuals in the United States."
C. N. Le, PhD, Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts, in an Apr. 12, 2007 Asian-Nation.org article entitled "The 1965 Immigration Act," offered the following:
"The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 represents
a significant watershed moment in Asian American history. Reversing
decades of systematic exclusion and restrictive immigration policies,
the Act resulted in unprecedented numbers of immigrants from Asia,
Mexico, Latin America, and other non-western nations entering the U.S.
In the process, these new arrivals, particular from Asia, have
transformed the demographic, economic, and cultural characteristics of
many urban areas, the larger Asian American community, and mainstream
American society in general.
Prior to the mid-1960s, immigration
into the U.S. was regulated by the provisions of the National Origins
system. Implemented in 1924 as the U.S.'s first comprehensive set of
immigration regulations, the National Origins system effectively limited
immigration from Asia to token levels. These restrictions on Asian
immigration were consistent with the overall political and cultural
environment of the time that tolerated and even promoted nativism and