Immigrants Rights

Immigrants' Rights: 1917

U.S. government begins recruiting Mexican workers to fill a labor shortage because of World War I. After the war, farmers continue to recruit Mexican workers.

Immigrants' Rights: 1920

Voters pass an “alien land” initiative outlawing Japanese immigrants from leasing land, buying land in the names of their U.S.-born citizen children, or acting as guardians of their children’s property.

Immigrants' Rights: 1922

California Supreme Court strikes the component of the “alien land law” that prohibits Japanese immigrants from serving as guardians of property in their children’s names.

Immigrants' Rights: 1924

Congress passes legislation cutting off immigration from Japan.

Immigrants' Rights: 1930

RepatriationRepatriationU.S. government begins a program of mass deportations of Mexican and Mexican American workers. Between 1931 and 1934, the Los Angeles Department of Charities sends 15 trainloads, averaging 1,000 people each, to Mexico.

Immigrants' Rights: 1931

Mass raid on the plaza in Los Angeles. Those without identity documents are detained and sent to Mexico without the opportunity to contact their families.

Immigrants' Rights: 1943

Congress repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act as a goodwill gesture to World War II ally China. Still, only 105 Chinese can immigrate annually until the mid-1960s.

BracerosBraceros U.S. and Mexico finalize the bracero treaty authorizing the U.S. government to hire impoverished Mexicans as temporary farm and railroad laborers. Over the following two decades, an estimated 2 million braceros work in the U.S.


Immigrants' Rights: 1946

Voters reject Proposition 14, which would have expanded the “Alien Land Law.”

Immigrants' Rights: 1948

U.S. Supreme Court overturns a California Supreme Court decision in People v. Oyama and invalidates a component of the “Alien Land Law” barring Japanese immigrants from purchasing land in the names of their U.S. citizen children.

Immigrants' Rights: 1952

California Supreme Court rules in Sei Fuji v. California that the state’s “Alien Land Law” violates both the state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

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