Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

1875-1880 – State Immigration Laws Become Unconstitutional; Congress Begins to Bring Immigration Under Direct Federal Control for the First Time

“In Henderson v. Mayor of New York,
the Court held [6-1] that all immigration laws of the seaboard states were
unconstitutional because they usurped the exclusive power vested in
Congress to regulate foreign commerce. In response to Henderson,
states abolished their immigration commissions and port authorities.
The entire burden of orienting foreigners and turning away the
incapacitated fell to private, philanthropic organizations. Overwhelmed
by the strain that immigration put on their resources, charity workers
petitioned Congress to have the federal government assume the duties of
regulating the influx… In the 1880s. Congress began to bring
immigration under direct federal control for the first time. It could no
longer rely on volunteerism or informal processes to manage this
powerful social force.”