Immigration Act (Canada) (1910)


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 measure expanded the prohibited immigrant categories of 1906 to include those who would advocate the use of “force or violence” to create public disorder, the “immoral,” and charity cases who had not received clearance from either the superintendent of immigration in Ottawa or the assistant superintendent of emigration in London. This act also introduced the three-year residency requirement for establishing “domicile.” Until domicile was established, an immigrant was subject to deportation if judged “undesirable.” The duties of the boards of inquiry were expanded, and medical examinations were conducted on those coming by land, as well as sea. While the act did not single out particular racial or ethnic groups, Section 38 did allow the cabinet to restrict “immigrants belonging to any race deemed unsuited to the climate or requirements of Canada.” This remained the ethnic basis for Canadian immigration policy until 1967. Orders-in-council later in the year demonstrated the wide power of the cabinet, establishing a $200 head tax on Asian immigrants (P.C. 926) and a $25 monetary requirement for entry (P.C. 924).

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