1795 -- The Naturalization Act restricts U.S. citizenship to "free white persons" who live in America for at least five years and renounce their allegiance to their former country.
1882 -- President Chester A. Arthur signs the Chinese Exclusion Act into law. The act suspended Chinese immigration and was originally supposed to last 10 years. It wasn't repealed until Dec. 17, 1943.
1892 -- New York's Ellis Island opens as a way to provide improved facilities for the massive number of immigrant arrivals. The first immigrant to pass through Ellis was a "rosy-cheeked Irish girl," Annie Moore, age 15, from County Cork. She came with her two younger brothers to join their parents in New York City.
1921 -- With the Emergency Quota Act, the U.S. set for the first time in its nearly 150-year history a limit on the number of new immigrants who could come to the country. The U.S. population was 108 million at that time, and 800,000 immigrants arrived that year.
1952 -- The Immigration & Nationality Act, passed over President Harry Truman's veto, limits total annual immigration to one-sixth of one percent of the population of the continental United States in 1920. The act exempts spouses and children of U.S. citizens and people born in the Western Hemisphere from the quota.
1965 -- The Immigration Act passed this year discontinued the practice of using national origin to determine how many people could enter the country.
1986 -- The Immigration Reform and Control Act, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, gave amnesty to approximately three million undocumented residents and provided punishments for employers who hire undocumented workers.
1990 -- The Immigration Act passed this year increased the number of immigrants allowed into the United States each year to 700,000.
1995 -- California voters enact Proposition 187, later declared unconstitutional, which prohibits providing of public educational, welfare and health services to undocumented immigrants.
2006 -- An immigration reform bill from Senators Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John Kyl, R – Ariz., was pulled before it could get a full vote, while a 2007 effort from Senators Kennedy and John McCain, R-Ariz., failed in the Senate that June.The biggest sticking point in both cases was what to do about the undocumented immigrants already in the country, estimated at 12 million at that time.
2009 -- A newly-elected President Barack Obama said he wanted to move forward with a comprehensive immigration reform bill that year would include a path to citizenship for undocumented workers in the U.S. and ramped up border enforcement. But unlike the 2007 attempt, the proposal didn't allow additional workers to join the American workforce on a temporary basis.
2014 -- Tens of thousands of young immigrants illegally enter the country to create what the Obama administration labels an urgent humanitarian problem. The president has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to better "respond to the situation." The surge of undocumented youths from Central America has overwhelmed federal facilities and revived the debate over an immigration policy overhaul.
2014 -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces plans to immediately send 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the border and asks President Obama and Congress to hire an additional 3,000 border patrol agents. "I will not stand idly by," he said during a press conference in Austin.