McCarran-Walter Act

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Pat McCarran (Nevada).jpg W000108.jpg

Pat McCarran (left) and Francis E. Walter (right).

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act, removed race as a basis for immigration exclusion. The act was passed by Congress after a presidential veto by Harry Truman. In addition to abolishing race exclusion in immigration acts, it allotted 100 visas for each Asian country.[1]

Even with the increased allotment of visas, the number of immigration into the United States from Caribbean and Latin American remained the same.[1]

The U.S. Supreme Court has observed that that is law, as subsequently amended, is the foundation of modern immigration law:

The foundation of our laws on immigration and naturalization is the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 66 Stat. 163, as amended, 8 U. S. C. §1101 et seq., which sets out the “‘terms and conditions of admission to the country and the subsequent treatment of aliens lawfully in the country.’” Chamber of Commerce of United States of America v. Whiting, 563 U. S. 582, 587, 131 S. Ct. 1968, 179 L. Ed. 2d 1031 (2011). As initially enacted, the INA did not prohibit the employment of illegal aliens, and this Court held that federal law left room for the States to regulate in this field. See De Canas v. Bica, 424 U. S. 351, 353, 96 S. Ct. 933, 47 L. Ed. 2d 43 (1976).

Kansas v. Garcia, 140 S. Ct. 791, 797 (2020)


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Legacy of the 1965 Immigration Act. Center for Immigration Studies.