Policies Affecting Central and South Americans

1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act limited annual Western Hemisphere immigration
1976 Amendment to 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act limited annual immigration for each separate nation in the Western Hemisphere
1978 Congress raised Western Hemisphere annual limit slightly
1979 20,000 Nicaraguans afforded relief from deportation and viewed as political refugees
1980 Refugee Act
1984 Supreme Court held that to avoid deportation an alien must show "clear probability" that he or she would fact torture, death, or other severe persecution upon returning home
1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act
1987 Amnesty program went into effect

Supreme Court ruled in INS v. Cardoza-Fonesca that an alien who demonstrated "well founded fear" of persecution upon return to his or her homeland could be eligible for asylum in the United States

1990 Immigration Act

New hearings were to be set for 150,000 illegal aliens from Guatemala and El Salvador who were denied political asylum from 1980 to 1990 [Back]