Magnuson Act

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This article is about the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act. For the 1975 U.S. federal law dealing with consumer warranties, see Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. For the 1976 U.S. federal law governing marine fisheries management, see Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. For the Magnuson Act of 1950, see Maritime security (USCG).
Magnuson Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to repeal the Chinese Exclusion Acts, to establish quotas, and for other purposes.
Acronyms (colloquial) CERA
Nicknames Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943
Enacted by the 78th United States Congress
Effective December 17, 1943
Public law 78-199
Statutes at Large 57 Stat. 600
Titles amended 8 U.S.C.: Aliens and Nationality
U.S.C. sections amended 8 U.S.C. ch. 7 §§ 262-297 & 299
Legislative history

The Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, was immigration legislation proposed by U.S. Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and signed into law on December 17, 1943 in the United States.[1] It allowed Chinese immigration for the first time since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and permitted some Chinese immigrants already residing in the country to become naturalized citizens. This marked the first time since the Naturalization Act of 1790 that any Asians were permitted to be naturalized. However, the Magnuson Act provided for the continuation of the ban against the ownership of property and businesses by ethnic Chinese. In many states, Chinese Americans (including US citizens) were denied property-ownership rights either by law or de facto until the Magnuson Act itself was fully repealed in 1965.[2]

The Magnuson Act was passed on December 17, 1943, two years after China became an official allied nation to the United States in World War II. Although considered a positive development by many, it was particularly restrictive of Chinese immigrants, limiting them to an annual quota of 105 new entry visas. The quota was supposedly determined by the Immigration Act of 1924, which set immigration from qualifying countries at 2% of the number of people who were already living in the United States in 1890 of that nationality. However, the arrived-at number of 105 per annum granted to the Chinese was disproportionately low. (The quota should have been 2,150 per annum, as official census figures place the population of ethnic Chinese living in the USA in 1890 at 107,488 persons.[3]) Regardless of the method of calculation, the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into the USA was disproportionately low in ratio to the sanctioned immigration of other nationalities and ethnicities.[4] Chinese immigration later increased with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965.[5]


  1. Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Statement on Signing the Bill to Repeal the Chinese Exclusion Laws.," December 17, 1943". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara. 
  2. "An Unnoticed Struggle" (PDF). Japanese American Citizens League. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  3. "Comparison of Asian Populations during the Exclusion Years" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  4. Chang, Iris (2003). The Chinese in America. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-03123-2. 
  5. "The Chinese-American Experience: An Introduction". Retrieved 2014-02-05.