As a young politician, Sen. Edward Kennedy helped steer the 1965 immigration law through the Senate.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act, INS, Act of 1965, Pub.L. 89-236) abolished the national-origin quotas that had been in place in the United States since the Immigration Act of 1924. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 became law on July 1, 1968.
By equalizing immigration policies, the Act resulted in a flood of new immigration from non-European nations that changed the ethnic make-up of the United States. The most specific effect of the 1965 Immigration Act was to shift immigration from Europe to Asia.