Both the general increase in the number of immigrants and the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 fueled a growing nativism in the United States and in Congress during the first decade of the 20th century.
In the wake of World War I (1914–18; see World War I and immigration) and the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and in the midst of an economic depression, the Canadian government amended its Immigration Act of 1910 to protect against subversive activities and to limit the entry of those who might become involved in them.
A number of orders-in-council and regulations pursuant to the 1906 Immigration Act were further codified in the Immigration Act of 1910, which granted the cabinet wide discretionary power to regulate all areas of immigration.
The capstone of Minister of the Interior Frank Oliver’s immigration policy, the Immigration Act of 1906 consolidated all Canadian immigrant legislation, thus making it easier for “the Department of Immigration to deal with undesirable immigrants.”
With the dramatic decline of immigrant admissions and rise in alien deportations during World War I (1914–1918), the Canadian government tried several means of attracting agriculturalists and domestics.
The Dominion Lands Act was designed to entice settlers to the western prairies of Canada by granting 160 acres of free land to anyone 21 years of age or older who paid a $10 registration fee, built a permanent residence, planted at least 30 acres of land, and lived on the land six consecutive months for three years.
Bills to assist central European refugees were brought before Congress in 1937 and 1939, but it was not found necessary to pass new legislation because the number of refugees could be accommodated under existing legislation.
The rapid influx of Irish, German, and Chinese immigrants into the United States after 1845 was accompanied by a series of steamship disasters and the prevalence of cholera, typhus, and smallpox among arriving immigrants.
With the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision in Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration (1985) that oral hearings were required in every case for the determination of refugee status, there was an immediate need to restructure the hearing process.