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Immigration Policy Change Chronology

Timeline

Early US Immigration Policy
1950 - 1959 - Immigration and Nationality Act
1960 - 1969 - Revised Immigration and Nationality Act
1970 - 1979 Elimination of Racial Criteria
1980 - 1989 Immigration Reform and Control Act
1990 - 1995 Immigration Act
1996 - 1999 Reform and Rights
2000 - Changing Standards
2001 - September 11
2001 - Patriot Act
2001 - Days and Weeks after the Attacks
2001 - Detentions and Arrests
2001 - Moving Backwards
2002 - Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act
2002 - Deportation
2002 - Extension, Reform, and Registration
2002 - Homeland Security Act
2003 - Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
2003 - Looking Forward
Sources

In the years surrounding the turn of the millennium there has been a growing need for reform of immigration policies throughout the world, especially in western democracies in Europe and the United States. The rapid advancement of technology has served to increase the accessibility of persons around the world to communication and travel. Events such as the French presidential election race in 2001-2002 in which candidate Le Pen drew the second largest number of votes with an extreme anti-immigration policy and the murder of a politician in the Netherlands in 2002 for his anti-immigration policies show the rising importance of immigration throughout the world. Although these events certainly illuminated the necessity for review of immigration policies, the most drastic changes to immigration policies worldwide and particularly in the United States arose through the heightened security policies in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

This chronology documents the numerous changes to US immigration policy that took place in the two years following the September 11th attacks. The strict policies concerning border security and domestic investigation of immigrants were implemented at the the cost of certain rights of immigrant groups such as due process. In times of crisis and war, the US has previously limited the rights of groups perceived as threatening, but to much scrutiny afterword. The time has come to learn from past mistakes.

The US must find ways to heighten domestic security without sacrificing the political and social rights of immmigrant groups. Issues of immigration law cannot be ignored in a time in which the borders of the world continue to blur. States must make a conscious effort to balance their own protective laws of immigration with the unconditional law of hospitality.

IR of 9/11