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US Did Not Ban All Muslims from Immigrating

Editorial Team Editorial Team
Politics
21st May 2020
US Did Not Ban All Muslims from Immigrating
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 formed the core of US immigration policy (Getty Images)

The Claim

The United States Congress at one point passed a law barring Muslims from entering the country and has recently repealed the law.

Emerging story

As is circulating in the news and on social media, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 did effectively ban Muslims from entering the country. Since then, the act has been effectively repealed and millions of Muslims now live in the United States. However, the act remains in place on paper, and to (implicitly) accuse individual politicians of having a vested interest (or “agenda”) in the legislation that they pass is a claim that cannot be proven either way.

Misbars Analysis

The McCarran-Walter Act is better known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. According to the US State department, the bill’s proponents “expressed concerns that the United States could face communist infiltration through immigration and that unassimilated aliens could threaten the foundations of American life.” 

As a result, the law modified the US’s existing quota system for immigration resolving to admit people of a particular nationality to the United States at a rate of one-sixth of 1 percent of however many individuals from that country were living in the United States in 1920. That meant that 85 percent of about 154,000 visas available annually at that time went to people from Northern and Western Europe. The law does not mention religion or Muslims specifically, but would have reduced immigration of individuals from Muslim-majority countries significantly.

In summary, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 did effectively ban Muslims from entering the country. Since then, the act has been effectively repealed and millions of Muslims now live in the United States. However, the act remains in place on paper, and to (implicitly) accuse individual politicians of having a vested interest (or “agenda”) in the legislation that they pass is a claim that cannot be proven either way. 

Misbars Classification

Misleading

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