SAT Subject US History Practice Question 908: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 908

79. The Immigration Act of 1965 was significant in that it

A. opened the door to many non-European immigrants.
B. used racial criteria for the first time as a basis for admission to the United States.
C. favored Northern and Western Europeans.
D. excluded unskilled workers.
E. used IQ tests as a criterion for admission to the United States.

Correct Answer: A


The Immigration Act of 1965 represented a change in policy from the 1920s because it allowed large numbers of non-European immigrants to come into the country. While the National Origins Act of 1929 was narrowly based on country of origin, the 1965 act, which replaced it, was based on an overall quota system by hemisphere. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first racially based immigration act (B). The quota system of the 1920s favored Northern and Western Europeans (C), but the 1965 act put all Europeans in the same category. Unskilled workers were not excluded (D), but skilled workers and professionals were admitted beyond their quotas. The rationale for the exclusion of Southern and Eastern Europeans in the 1920s was that they supposedly scored lower on IQ tests (E), but IQ tests have never been a criterion for permitting immigration to the United States.

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