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National Origin Act definition


The National Origin Act of 1924 (also known as the Johnson-Reed Act) was a law passed by the United States Congress that severely limited the number of immigrants allowed to enter the country based on their nationality. The act set quotas for each country's annual immigration, with the purpose of maintaining the existing ethnic composition of the United States. This was the first time in U.S. history that immigration policy was explicitly based on ethnic and racial criteria. The act particularly targeted immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as Asian countries, effectively ending the era of mass immigration to the United States. It remained in effect until it was repealed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.