The Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, was immigration legislation proposed by U.S. Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and signed into law on December 17, 1943 in the United States. It allowed Chinese immigration for the first time since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and permitted some Chinese immigrants already residing in the country to become naturalized citizens. This marked the first time since the Naturalization Act of 1790 that any Asians were permitted to be naturalized. However, the Magnuson Act provided for the continuation of the ban against the ownership of property and businesses by ethnic Chinese. In many states, Chinese Americans (including US citizens) were denied property-ownership rights either by law or de facto until the Magnuson Act itself was fully repealed in 1965.
The Magnuson Act was passed on Dec. 17, 1943, two years after China became an official allied nation to the United States in World War II. Although considered a positive development by many, it was particularly restrictive of Chinese immigrants, limiting them to an annual quota of 105 new entry visas. The quota was supposedly determined by the Immigration Act of 1924, which set immigration from qualifying countries at 2% of the number of people who were already living in the United States in 1890 of that nationality. However, the arrived-at number of 105 per annum granted to the Chinese was disproportionately low. (The quota should have been 2,150 per annum, as official census figures place the population of ethnic Chinese living in the USA in 1890 at 107,488 persons.) Regardless of the method of calculation, the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into the USA was disproportionately low in ratio to the sanctioned immigration of other nationalities and ethnicities. Chinese immigration later increased with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965.