Immigration Act of 1990

Immigration Act of 1990
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to change the level, and preference system for admission, of immigrants to the United States, and to provide for administrative naturalization, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 101st United States Congress
Public lawPub.L. 101–649
Statutes at Large104 Stat. 4978
Titles amended8 U.S.C.: Aliens and Nationality
Legislative history

The Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub.L. 101–649, 104 Stat. 4978, enacted November 29, 1990) was signed into law by George H. W. Bush on November 29, 1990.[1] It was first introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy in 1989. It was a national reform of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It increased total, overall immigration to allow 700,000 immigrants to come to the U.S. per year for the fiscal years 1992–94, and 675,000 per year after that.[2] It provided family-based immigration visa, created five distinct employment based visas, categorized by occupation, and a diversity visa program that created a lottery to admit immigrants from "low admittance" countries[3] or countries whose citizenry was underrepresented in the U.S.

Besides these immigrant visas there were also changes in nonimmigrant visas like the H-1B visa for highly skilled workers. There were also cutbacks in the allotment of visas available for extended relatives.[4] Congress also created the temporary protected status (TPS visa), which the Attorney General may provide to immigrants who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary condition. It specifically benefited citizens of El Salvador.[2]

The act also lifted the English testing process for naturalization that had been imposed in the Naturalization Act of 1906 for permanent residents who are over 55 and have been living in the United States for fifteen years as a permanent resident,[5][6] and eliminated exclusion of homosexuals under the medically unsound classification of "sexual deviant" that was in the 1965 Act.[7] George H. W. Bush is quoted as saying, "I am also pleased to note that this Act facilitates immigration not just in numerical terms, but also in terms of basic entry rights of those beyond our borders."[8]

  1. ^ Stine, Stephen F. (December 7, 1990). "U.S. Companies in Hong Kong Hope Immigration Law Will Reduce Exodus". Wall Street Journal. p. B7D.
  2. ^ a b Leiden, Warren. "Highlights of the U.S. Immigration Act of 1990". Fordham International Law Journal. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Stone, Stephanie. "1190 Immigration and Nationality Act". U.S. Immigration Legislation Online. U.S. Immigration Legislation Online. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "The Immigration Act of 1990". Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "S.358 - 101st Congress (1989-1990): Immigration Act of 1990". 29 November 1990.
  6. ^ "The Immigration Act of 1990". Boundless. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  7. ^ Davis, Tracy. "Opening the Doors of Immigration: Sexual Orientation and Asylum in the United States". Washington College of Law. Archived from the original on August 22, 2002. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  8. ^ "Statement on Signing the Immigration Act of 1990". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved September 29, 2014.

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