The United States And The Civil Rights Movement

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Beginning in the 1960’s the growing strength of the civil rights movement struck the attention of political figures that influenced calls to reform the U.S. immigration policy. In the 1920’s immigration was based on the national-origins quota system. The system assigned each nationality a quota, which restricted immigration on the basis of existing proportions of the population due to its representation in past U.S. census figures. The goal of the quota system was to maintain the existing ethnic composition of the United States. However, the Civil Rights Movement’s focus on equal treatment regardless of race or ethnicity led to many to view the system as discrimination. Many politicians agreed with the unethical dilemma and on July 23, 1963 President John F. Kennedy addressed the system in his message to congress as having “no basis in either logic nor reason.” "It neither satisfies a national need nor accomplishes an international purpose. In an age of interdependence among nations, such a system is an anachronism for it discriminates among applicants for admission into the United States on the basis of the accident of birth." (Kennedy, John F., Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1964, pp. 594-597.) The support for change grew when foreign policy began to show concern.
After Kennedy’s assassination that November, congress eventually passed the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 which replaced the
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