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In the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, Congress passed a new type of Immigration law limiting the number of immigrants entering the United States in any one year to 3 percent of the size of each nationality group that had been living in the United States in 1910. This policy favored the older Anglo-Saxon and northern European stock, who were more numerous than immigrants from southern and eastern Europe in that year.

The quota system drastically limited immigration from eastern and southern Europe, which had been running four times as large as that from the rest of Europe.

Many Americans were unhappy with the Immigration Act of 1921 because they felt that it still admitted too many of the "wrong" kinds of foreigners. To some extent, this attitude was a product of the times. The most extreme position was taken by the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was anti-black, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish--against everybody not white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant.

The vast majority of Americans had little interest in the KKK. Yet at the same time many felt some of the same feeling--concern about radical political ideas, the impact of Catholics and Jews on American society, and the "race degradation" of the American "stock" that supposedly was due to the influx of inferior Southern and Eastern Europeans. Many believed that too many foreigners would upset the "racial" balance of America and that immigration had gone far enough.

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Q: Why did the congress pass the emergency quota act in the 1920s?
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