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Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

In 1965, President Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act, overhauling decades of restrictive immigration laws.


President John F. Kennedy was a long-time advocate of immigration reform and called for eliminating immigration quotas based on national origin. Following his death, his brothers, Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Robert Kennedy (D-NY), championed a bill to do just that. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act, also called the Hart-Celler Act after its sponsors, ending limits on immigration based on nationality. The Act marked a complete overhaul of decades of immigration law.