President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Hart-Celler Act, 3 October 1965, Liberty Island, NY, NY.
(Photo credit: LBJ Presidential Library/Yoichi Okamoto)
Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Immigration Act. By eliminating the discriminatory national-origins quota system, the Act created new opportunities for people from across the world to migrate to the United States. But it also restricted immigration from the Western Hemisphere for the first time, contributing to the subsequent growth of undocumented migration in the decades to come.
Understanding the 1965 Act and its consequences is essential to understanding the history of the United States during the last half century. A number of academic institutes and policy organizations have organized conferences to mark the anniversary, and examine the Act and its legacy. I’ve compiled a list of the events here, in case any of them are near you or available on the web via livestreaming.
- September 29, “America’s Potential: The Next 50 Years of the 1965 Immigration Act,” National Immigration Forum, Washington, D.C.
- September 30, “The Immigration Act of 1965: Then and Now,” Migration Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.
- October 1, “How Did the 1965 Immigration Act Change America?,” Smithsonian/Zócalo Public Square, Washington, D.C.
- October 1, “Immigration: Pathway to the American Dream,” LBJ Library, Austin, TX.
- October 2, “50 Years after Reform: The Successes, Failures, and Lessons from the Immigration Act of 1965,” Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.
- October 8-9, “Transforming Migrations: Beyond the 1965 Act,” University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA.
- October 10, “50th Anniversary of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965,” Filipino American National Historical Society, Seattle, WA.
- October 16, “Politics, Promises, Possibilities: The 1965 Immigration Act at 50,” Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
- October 23-24, “Immigrant America Conference: New Immigration Histories from 1965 to 2015,” Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
- November 12, “Remaking America: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and Its Impact,” The Center for the History of the New America, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
- [Past event] April 3-4, “Managing Borders: An Interdisciplinary Conference on American Immigration Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965,” Columbia University, NY, NY.
Please let me know if there are other events I should add to the list.
Update: Thanks to Julie Greene for letting me know about the 12 November symposium at the University of Maryland. And thanks to Erika Lee for bringing the 29 September NIF program to my attention.