On Saturday, naturalization ceremonies all across the states marked the 50-year anniversary of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which abolished the National Origins Formula initiated with the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and cemented in the Immigration Act of 1924.
The 1924 act based immigration quotas on the country’s 1890 makeup, limiting the number of immigrants from countries that were not represented in the U.S. at that time to 2 percent of the annual quota.
The 2015 act abolished the national origins quota system, replacing it with a preference system that focused on immigrants’ skills and family relationships with citizens or U.S. residents.
Saturday’s ceremony at Fuller Lodge reflected the impact of that change in immigration law, with 20 applicants representing 10 countries: Australia, England, Equatorial Guinea, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Samoa, United Kingdom and Venezuela.
“One of the greatest things about America is its acceptance of everyone, no matter where you’re from, who you are, what you look like,” said new citizen Ralston Robinson, who moved to the United States from Jamaica 10 years ago.
Chief United States District Judge M. Christina Armijo presided over the ceremony.