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Western Hemisphere Act

Front Cover of Anti-Immigration in the United States
Greenwood
Sep 2011

“Western Hemisphere Act,” in Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Kathleen Arnold (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2011).

The Western Hemisphere Act of 1976 (the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1976, P.L. 94-571) reformed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 by extending the provisions for immigration from countries of the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Asia, and Africa) to those of the Western Hemisphere (Latin America, the Carbbean, and Canada). It established an annual quota of 20,000 entrants per nation and introduced the preference category system, which provided immigrants with entrance based on U.S. employment needs and family unification while simultaneously repealing an exemption from labor certification to parents of minor U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens.