|Long title||An 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 by||the 101st United States Congress|
|Public law||Pub.L. 101–649|
|Statutes at Large||104 Stat. 4978|
|Titles amended||8 U.S.C.: Aliens and Nationality|
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. 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. 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 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. 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.
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, and eliminated exclusion of homosexuals under the medically unsound classification of "sexual deviant" that was in the 1965 Act. 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."