Time, “Congress Tightened Immigration Laws 100 Years Ago. Here’s Who They Turned Away”

Immigrants representing four countries, Poland, Norway, Germany, and Russia, looking from Ellis Island towards the promised land, New York, New York, c. 1913. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Excluded from entry in 1917 were not only convicted criminals, chronic alcoholics and people with contagious diseases, but also people with epilepsy, anarchists, most people who couldn’t read and almost everyone from Asia, as well as laborers who were “induced, assisted, encouraged, or solicited to migrate to this country by offers or promises of employment, whether such offers or promises are true or false” and “persons likely to become a public charge.”

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