I know that in the United States, before the passage of the Immigration & Nationality act of 1965, immigration was controlled by the Immigration Act of 1924.

It limited the number of immigrants that could be admitted to the U.S. to two percent of the total number of individuals from each nationality that resided in the United States in 1890—before waves of Slavic and Italian immigrants arrived in America. Despite vigorous protests from Japanese diplomats, the measure also excluded Japanese immigrants (a ban that would not be lifted until 1952). Finally, it allowed no more than 150,000 total immigrants who fell within the parameters of the quota system to enter the U.S. in any one year. After Senate passage, the Immigration Act was signed into law in late May 1924. History.house.gov

This law set restrictive quotas on the numbers of immigrants that were allowed to enter the country and it based this number on results from the 1890 census. However, it only set quotas for countries outside of the Americas. How was immigration from a country like Colombia controlled? With the exception of Mexico, which shares a border with the US, there are no old Latino immigrant communities. Immigrant communities from South America are fairly recent. Why is that?

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    A small comment: this website has an international audience and it would be helpful to state which country (USA) you are talking about earlier than the last line. For instance the Immigration Act 1971 would confuse you, it is a British Act of Parliament!
    – user55099
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:13
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    @Martin Sorry about that. I'll make an edit. Mar 15, 2022 at 18:23
  • Good question. This will help to reconcile competing historical narratives. Upvote.. Working purely from memory, Malcom Gladwell suggested that there was no immigration control to Latin America at that time.
    – MCW
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:43
  • @MCW then how were they kept out? Because there was something that kept immigrants from almost every country in South America from immigrating to the US before the 1965 act. Mar 15, 2022 at 19:37
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    One might want to consider that various Latin American countries were themselves attractive targets of immigration in the relevant time frame. Examples: Current pope: son of Italian immigrants to Argentina; Fidel Castro: son of a Spanish immigrant to Cuba; Alberto Fujimori: son of Japanese immigrants to Peru. Hypothesis: Immigration "pressure" from Latin American counties was limited in the relevant time period, and statistics seem to confirm that. Potentially fewer racist (anti-Asian, anti-Semitic) aspects.
    – njuffa
    Mar 15, 2022 at 21:52


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