How were Spanish immigrants welcome in the United States in the early 1900s?

Spanish newcomers were treated with a similar level of prejudice as other immigrants from southern Europe, such as Italians.

Many in America preferred immigrants who had lighter skins and came from northern climates, like England and Scandinavia.

This prejudice was embodied in a quota system first enacted in 1921 and later became still more restrictive. According to a 1929 version of the law, northern Europeans were welcome in large numbers-132,000 per year.

Southern and eastern Europe and Asia were permitted to send no more than 20,000 people to the United States. Spain’s allotment was 131 per year.

The quota system was abolished in 1965. Currently, all countries have the same ceiling: no more than 20,000 immigration visas per country per year.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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