War Brides Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The War Brides Act (59 Stat. 659, Act of Dec. 28, 1945) was enacted (on December 28, 1945) to allow alien spouses, natural children, and adopted children of members of the United States Armed Forces, "if admissible," to enter the U.S. as non-quota immigrants after World War II.[1] More than 100,000 entered the United States under this Act and its extensions and amendments[2] until it expired in December 1948.[3]

The 1945 Act only exempted spouses and dependents of military personnel from the quotas established by the Immigration Act of 1924 and the mental and health standards otherwise in force. Because the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943, Chinese were the Asian group that benefited most from the 1945 law.[4] The Alien Fiancées and Fiancés Act of 1946 (60 stat. 339, Act of June 29, 1946) extended the privileges to Filipino and Asian Indian fiancées and fiancés of war veterans. A 1947 amendment removed the term "if admissible," making it possible for Korean and Japanese wives and fiancées of American soldiers to immigrate.[5]

The Act was open to abuse. The United States Supreme Court, in Lutwak v. United States (1953), considered the case of the fraudulent use of the Act, upholding convictions of parties to a conspiracy to arrange for the immigration of three Polish refugees. It was claimed that the marriages celebrated in France were never consummated, and that the parties to the marriages never lived together.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reimers, David M. (1981). "Post-World War II Immigration to the United States: America's Latest Newcomers". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 454 (March): 1–12. doi:10.1177/000271628145400102.
  2. ^ David M. Reimers, Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America (NY: 1992), 21-2
  3. ^ Nancy K. Ota, "Private Matters: Family and Race and the Post-World-War-II Translation of 'American'," in Lex Heerma van Voss, ed., Petitions in Social History (University Press, Cambridge), 215-6
  4. ^ Xiaojian Zhao (2002). Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940-1965. Rutgers University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8135-3011-6.
  5. ^ "U.S. Immigration Legislation: 1946 Alien Fiancées and Fiancés Act". library.uwb.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  6. ^ Lutwak v. United States, February 9, 1953, accessed November 29, 2012

Further reading[edit]

  • Susan Zeiger, Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century (New York University Press, 2010)
  • Xiaojian Zhao, Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940-1965 (Rutgers University Press, 2002)
  • Roger Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882 (Hill and Wang, 2004)