Constitutional Amendments, Treaties, Executive Orders, and Major Acts of Congress Referenced in the Text

Domestic Policy

(excluding Acts related to Revenues/Tariffs)

Civil Rights Legislation

TitleCitation: Public Law (P.L.) and Statute (Stat.)Main Provisions
Fourteenth Amendment (1868)14 Stat. 358Declared that all persons born or naturalized in the United States were citizens and that any state that denied or abridged the voting rights of males over the age of 21 would be subject to proportional reductions in its representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Approved by the 39th Congress (1865–1867) as H.J. Res. 127. Ratified by the states on July 9, 1868.

Immigration and Naturalization Policies

TitleCitation: Public Law (P.L.) and Statute (Stat.)Main Provisions
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)22 Stat. 58Banned Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States for 10 years and denied citizenship to all foreign-born Chinese. Also listed penalties for employers who violated the act. Exempted some Chinese laborers and merchants who entered the United States from other destinations. Passed by the 47th Congress (1881–1883) as H.R. 5804. Amended by the Geary Act (27 Stat. 25) amendments in 1892.
Geary Act (1892)27 Stat. 25Extended Chinese Exclusion Act (22 Stat. 58) for 10 years and enabled the removal of Chinese immigrants who lived illegally in the United States. Immigrants arrested under this act had to provide residency certificates to maintain legal residency. Passed by the 52nd Congress (1891–1893) as H.R. 6185.
Executive Order 589N/AEnabled the Secretary of Commerce and Labor to restrict Japanese and/or Korean laborers from entering the continental United States and U.S. territories through Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico via passports issued by the Japanese government. Issued on March 14, 1907, by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Immigration Act of 1917P.L. 64-301; 39 Stat. 874Increased entry restrictions for foreigners who immigrated to the United States. Prohibited immigration from specific regions of Asia. Required a literacy test. Streamlined deportation procedures. Passed by the 64th Congress (1915–1917) over a presidential veto as H.R. 10384.
Emergency Quota Act (Immigration Restriction Act of 1921)P.L. 67-5; 42 Stat. 5Limited the number of immigrants entering the United States to 3 percent of the foreign-born population listed in the 1910 Census. Set the total limit to approximately 357,000 immigrants per year. Passed by the 67th Congress (1921–1923) as H.R. 4075.
Immigration Act of 1924 (Johnson–Reed Act)P.L. 68-139; 43 Stat. 153Lowered annual immigration quotas of all foreign nationalities living in the United States by 2 percent based on population determined by the 1890 Census. Established a strict apportionment system based on country of origin. Authorized strict quota of a minimum of 100 immigrants from Asian and African countries to the United States and reduced total immigration limit to 150,000 per year. Passed by the 68th Congress (1923–1925) as H.R. 7995.
Nationality Act of 1940P.L. 76-853; 54 Stat. 1137Defined nationality at birth in the mainland United States and in U.S. territories. Limited nationality cases to certain courts and revised eligibility requirements for naturalization. Also enabled Filipinos who had served in the U.S. Armed Forces to become naturalized citizens. Outlined how a naturalized citizen could forfeit that status. Passed by the 76th Congress (1939–1941) as H.R. 9980.
War Brides Act (1945)P.L. 79-271; 59 Stat. 659Enabled honorably discharged U.S. military personnel to bring foreign spouses and children to the United States if they applied for admission within three years of the act’s passage and met necessary requirements. Passed by the 79th Congress (1945–1947) as H.R. 4857.
Displaced Persons Act of 1948P.L. 80-774; 62 Stat. 1009Authorized the admission of European refugees displaced by World War II to the United States for two years after its enactment based on the quotas stated in the Immigration Act of 1924 (P.L. 68-139). Also enabled resident aliens to adjust their immigration status. Passed by the 80th Congress (1947–1949) as S. 2242.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (McCarran–Walter Act)P.L. 82-414; 66 Stat. 163Revised parts of Immigration Act of 1924 (P.L. 68-139) and retained the national origins quota system, but repealed the exclusion of Asian immigrants. Passed by the 82nd Congress (1951–1953) over a presidential veto as H.R. 5678.
Refugee Relief Act (1953)P.L. 83-203; 67 Stat. 400Authorized the annual admission of more than 200,000 refugees from anywhere in the world to the United States beyond the established quota numbers per the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (P.L. 82-414). Passed by the 83rd Congress (1953–1955) as H.R. 6481.
Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 (Hart–Celler Act)P.L. 89-236; 79 Stat. 911Superseded the Immigration Act of 1924 (P.L. 68-139) by eliminating the national origins quota system. Initiated a new preference system with annual numerical ceilings for immigrants. Applied a quota on immigrants from the Western Hemisphere. Passed by the 89th Congress (1965–1967) as H.R. 2580.
Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975P.L. 94-23; 89 Stat. 87Provided relocation and resettlement aid for immigrants who left Southeast Asia and were unable to return to their home countries. Passed by the 94th Congress (1975–1977) as H.R. 6755.
Refugee Act of 1980P.L. 96-212; 94 Stat. 102Amended the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-236) and the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (P.L. 87-510). Established a federal office to process refugees for U.S. settlement and expanded the term “refugee” to include anyone in the world who fled his or her original country to avoid persecution based on race, religion, or political alignment. Created special category for asylum seekers. Increased the numerical ceiling for immigrants entering the United States. Passed by the 96th Congress (1979– 1981) as S. 643.
Amerasian Immigration Act (1982)P.L. 97-359; 96 Stat. 1716Amended the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-236) to permit Amerasian children—children with American fathers—born in Southeast Asia between 1950 and 1982 to immigrate to the United States upon a guarantee by an American sponsor. Passed by the 97th Congress (1981–1983) as S. 1698.
Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 1988, and for Other Purposes (Amerasian Immigration) (1987)P.L. 100-202; 101 Stat. 1329Authorized executive branch agencies to maintain admission and protection programs for Indochinese refugees in the border regions of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Instructed the President to consider larger admission allocations for Amerasian children and their immediate families. Passed by the 100th Congress (1987–1989) as H.J. Res. 395.

Internment Policies and Redress Legislation

TitleCitation: Public Law (P.L.) and Statute (Stat.)Main Provisions
Executive Order 9066N/AEnabled the Secretary of War and military commanders to designate military areas and control access of U.S. citizens or residents to those areas. Those living within the areas were subject to any and all rules imposed by military authorities. Issued on February 19, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Executive Order 9102N/AAuthorized the formation of a War Relocation Authority in the Executive Office of the President. Designated a director to create and carry out removal and relocation of Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants from military areas as defined by Executive Order 9066 (Authorizing Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas). Issued on March 18, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Japanese-American Evacuation Claims Act (1948)P.L. 80-886; 62 Stat. 1231Enabled the U.S. Attorney General to examine claims of Japanese Americans who were removed and relocated. Limited submission claims to specific types and capped monetary compensations to a maximum of $2,500 per individual. Passed by the 80th Congress (1947–1949) as H.R. 3999.
Internal Security Act (McCarran Act) (1950)P.L. 81-831; 64 Stat. 987Established a five-member Subversive Activities Control Board selected by the President to determine communist affiliations of organizations. Provided for registration and possible internment of communist sympathizers or anyone suspected of subversive activities and exclusion as inadmissible aliens. Passed by the 81st Congress (1949–1951) over a presidential veto as H.R. 9490.
Presidential Proclamation 4417N/AA proclamation declaring the end of Executive Order 9066. Issued on February 19, 1976, by President Gerald R. Ford.
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Act (1980)P.L. 96-317; 94 Stat. 964Established a seven-member commission to review the implementation of Executive Order 9066 and its impact on U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens. The commission reviewed U.S. military directives that required the relocation and/or detention of Japanese Americans, Japanese resident aliens, and permanent resident aliens of the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Passed by the 96th Congress (1979–1981) as S. 1647.
Civil Liberties Act (1988)P.L. 100-383; 102 Stat. 903Issued a formal apology for the internment of Japanese Americans and the confiscation of Aleutian property during World War II. Provided financial compensation to internment survivors and Aleutian property owners. Passed by the 100th Congress (1987–1989) as H.R. 442.

Acts Related to Territories

TitleCitation: Public Law (P.L.) and Statute (Stat.)Main Provisions
Annexation of the Hawaiian Islands (Newlands Resolution) (1898)30 Stat. 750Authorized the annexation of the Republic of Hawaii to the United States and outlined a civilian government. Prohibited Chinese immigration to the Hawaiian Islands and the mainland United States per the Chinese Exclusion Act (22 Stat. 58) and subsequent amendments. Passed by the 55th Congress (1897–1899) as H.J. Res. 259.
Hawaiian Organic Act (1900)31 Stat. 141Designated Hawaii as an incorporated territory and granted U.S. citizenship to citizens of Hawaii. Established a territorial government that included executive, judiciary, and legislative branches. Designated a Territorial Delegate to Congress. Made Chinese immigrants subject to the Geary Act (27 Stat. 25) and prevented Chinese laborers from entering the United States via Hawaii. Passed by the 56th Congress (1899–1901) as S. 222.
Philippine Organic Act (1902)P.L. 57-235; 32 Stat. 691Established a territorial government for the Philippine Islands. Authorized the creation of a presidentially appointed Philippine commission and a popularly elected Philippine assembly. Created two Resident Commissioner positions in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Philippines. Passed by the 57th Congress (1901–1903) as S. 2295.
An Act Providing for the Quadrennial Election of Members of the Philippine Assembly and Resident Commissioners to the United States (1911)P.L. 61-376; 36 Stat. 910Extended terms of service for Philippine assembly members and Resident Commissioners from two to four years. Fixed start of the Philippine legislature to mid-October, but enabled members to set start dates. Enabled Resident Commissioners Benito Legarda and Manuel L. Quezon to serve through the Philippine legislature’s current term. Passed by the 61st Congress (1909–1911) as H.R. 32004.
Jones Act of 1916 (Philippine Autonomy Act)P.L. 64-240; 39 Stat. 545Established a more autonomous Philippine government by providing for a popularly elected bicameral legislature. Reduced Resident Commissioners’ terms from four years to three. Passed by the 64th Congress (1915–1917) as S. 381.
Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act of 1932P.L. 72-311; 47 Stat. 761Provided for complete independence of the Philippines following a 10-year transitional period if approved by the Philippine government. Reduced the number of Resident Commissioners from two to one, appointed by the Philippine government. Passed by the 72nd Congress (1931–1933) over a presidential veto as H.R. 7233. Not approved by the Philippine government.
Tydings–McDuffie Act (Philippines Independence Act) (1934)P.L. 73-127; 48 Stat. 456Provided for complete independence of the Philippines following a 10-year transitional period if approved by the Philippine government and contingent upon the adoption of a Philippine constitution within two years of the legislation enactment. Also capped Philippine immigration to the United States at 50 persons per year. Passed by the 73rd Congress (1933–1935) as H.R. 8573. Approved by the Philippine government.
The Trusteeship Agreement for the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (1947)P.L. 80-204; 61 Stat. 397Authorized President Harry S. Truman’s trusteeship agreement with the United Nations. Supported educational, political, and economic development of the South Pacific Territories (Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands) obtained from the Japanese after World War II. Deemed administration of Guam and American Samoa interrelated. Passed by the 80th Congress (1947–1949) as H.J. Res. 233.
Guam Organic Act (1950)P.L. 81-630; 64 Stat. 384Transferred Guam federal jurisdiction from U.S. Navy to Department of Interior. Granted U.S. citizenship to Guam’s residents and established a three-branch structure of government. Passed by the 81st Congress (1949–1951) as H.R. 7273.
Hawaii Statehood Admission Act (1959)P.L. 86-3; 73 Stat. 4Provided official statehood in the United States and for the formal ratification of the state constitution adopted by Hawaiians on November 7, 1950. Passed by the 86th Congress (1959–1961) as S. 50.
Delegate to the House of Representatives from Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1972)P.L. 92-271; 86 Stat. 118Created nonvoting Delegate positions in the U.S. House of Representatives for Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands beginning in the 93rd Congress (1973– 1975). Passed by the 92nd Congress (1971–1973) as H.R. 8787.
Delegate to the House of Representatives from American Samoa (1978)P.L. 95-556; 92 Stat. 2078Created a nonvoting Delegate position in the U.S. House of Representatives for American Samoa. Passed by the 95th Congress (1977–1979) as H.R. 13702.
Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008P.L. 110-229; 122 Stat. 754Created a nonvoting Delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Passed by 110th Congress (2007–2009) as S. 2739.

Foreign Policy

(excluding Acts related to Revenues/Tariffs)

TitleCitation: Public Law (P.L.) and Statute (Stat.)Main Provisions
Treaty of Trade, Consuls, and Emigration (Burlingame Treaty) (1868)16 Stat. 739Amended previous agreements between the United States and China. Outlined property rights, trade privileges, and emigration procedures. Approved by the Senate during the 40th Congress (1867–1869) on July 28, 1868.
Reciprocity Treaty of 187519 Stat. 625Permitted the duty-free importation of sugar and other products from the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. Enabled Americans to export dutyfree products to Hawaii. Approved by the Senate during the 44th Congress (1875–1877) on March 18, 1875.
Treaty of Paris (1899)30 Stat. 1754Formally concluded the Spanish-American War. Spain ceded Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, and portions of the West Indies to the United States. Spain also surrendered the Philippines to the United States for $20 million. Approved by the Senate during the 55th Congress (1897–1899) on February 6, 1899.
Convention to Adjust the Question Between the United States, Germany, and Great Britain in Respect to the Samoan Islands (1900)31 Stat. 1878Partitioned the jurisdiction of certain Samoan Islands between the United States, Great Britain, and Germany. Approved by the Senate during the 56th Congress (1899–1901) on January 16, 1900.
Philippine Rehabilitation Act (1946)P.L. 79-370; 60 Stat. 128Established a presidentially appointed war commission to review damage claims and award compensation for damages that occurred during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Allocated $120 million for infrastructure. Passed by the 79th Congress (1945–1947) as S. 1610.

Revenue and Tariff Acts

TitleCitation: Public Law (P.L.) and Statute (Stat.)Main Provisions
Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act (1909)P.L. 61-5; 36 Stat. 11Lowered duties to a general level of 38 percent while making sizable cuts on certain duties. Established a tariff board to advise the President and U.S. Court of Customs Appeals. Passed by the 61st Congress (1909–1911) as H.R. 1438.
Philippine Tariff Act (1909)P.L. 61-7; 36 Stat. 130Established duties on products imported to the Philippines. Passed by the 61st Congress (1909–1911) as H.R. 9135.
Underwood–Simmons Act (Revenue Act of 1913)P.L. 63-16; 38 Stat. 114Reduced the average duty rate from 38 percent to less than 30 percent. Reduced duties on many items and expanded free list. Enabled the President to negotiate reciprocal agreements. Established a comprehensive federal income tax. Passed by the 63rd Congress (1913–1915) as H.R. 3321.
Jones–Costigan Act (Sugar Act of 1934)P.L. 73-213; 48 Stat. 670Amended quotas and taxes on different kinds of sugar. Prohibited the importation and processing of sugars from insular territories. Passed by the 73rd Congress (1933–1935) as H.R. 8861.
Philippine Trade Act (1946)P.L. 79-371; 60 Stat. 141Established trade relations between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines by providing for a graduated introduction of customs duties. Prescribed duty-free quotas on certain items. Passed by the 79th Congress (1945–1947) as H.R. 5856.