From New York Post
Donald Trump’s proposal for the “extreme vetting” of immigrants has a long and controversial history, in which versions of the plan have been used during times of political and social upheaval to quell fear and agitation.
From the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to the McCarran Internal Security Act passed amid the “red scare” of the 1950s, American politicians have often taken “extreme” action to regulate immigration.
“The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today,” Trump said in a speech on Monday. “I call it extreme vetting . . . Our country has enough problems.”
Trump’s proposal echoed other controversial policies in American history.
The country was on the verge of war with France when the Alien and Sedition Acts were signed into law. They allowed the president to deport or arrest “aliens” who were considered dangerous.
In the 1950s, the McCarran Act required all Communist Party members to register with the government in order to fight “internal subversion.” The Supreme Court invalidated part of the act in 1965.
Other immigration acts in the early 1900s sought to keep out anarchists, beggars, prostitutes, unskilled laborers and other minority groups.
In 1924, an immigration act sought to “preserve the ideal of US homogeneity” by excluding Asians and Arabs from the country. The law remained in place until 1965.
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