War Brides Act

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The War Brides Act (Public Law 271) was enacted on December 28, 1945, to allow alien spouses, natural children, and adopted children of members of the United States Armed Forces, "if admissible," to enter the U.S. as non-quota immigrants after World War II.[1] More than 100,000 entered the United States under this Act and its extensions and amendments[2] until it expired in December 1948.[3]

The 1945 Act only exempted military spouses and dependents from the quotas established by the Immigration Act of 1924 and the mental and health standards otherwise in force. Because the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943, Chinese were the Asian group to benefit least from the law.[4] Exclusion of Filipinos and Asian Indians were repealed in 1946. A 1947 amendment of the War Brides Act removed the term "if admissible," making it possible for Japanese and Korean wives of American soldiers to immigrate. The Alien Fiancées and Fiancés Act of 1946 extended the privileges to Fiancées and Fiancés of war veterans.

The United States Supreme Court, in Lutwak v. United States (1953), considered the case of the fraudulent use of the War Brides Act. It upheld the convictions of parties to a conspiracy to arrange for the immigration of three Polish refugees on the basis of marriages celebrated in France that were never consummated, nor did the parties to the marriages ever live together.[5]

See also


  1. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  2. David M. Reimers, Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America (NY: 1992), 21-2
  3. Nancy K. Ota, "Private Matters: Family and Race and the Post-World-War-II Translation of 'American'," in Lex Heerma van Voss, ed., Petitions in Social History (University Press, Cambridge), 215-6
  4. Xiaojian Zhao (2002). Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940-1965. Rutgers University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8135-3011-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lutwak v. United States, February 9, 1953, accessed November 29, 2012

Further reading

  • Susan Zeiger, Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century (New York University Press, 2010)
  • Xiaojian Zhao, Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940-1965 (Rutgers University Press, 2002)
  • Roger Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882 (Hill and Wang, 2004)