Fact Check

Were Muslims Banned from the U.S. in 1952?

Muslims are not barred from entering or immigrating to the United States under the provisions of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, or U.S. Code § 1182.

Published Dec. 7, 2015

 (miropink / Shutterstock, Inc.)
Image courtesy of miropink / Shutterstock, Inc.
Muslims were banned from immigrating to the United States in 1952 under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

In late 2015 a claim spreading on social media under the heading "ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952," holding that Muslims has been banned from entering or immigrating to the United States back in the early 1950s:

ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952, but Obama & the media don't want you to know that. The Immigration and Nationality Act that passed June 27, 1952 revised the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality for the United States. That act, which became Public Law 414, established both the law and the intent of Congress regarding the immigration of Aliens to the US and remains in effect today.

Among the many issues it covers, one in particular, found in Chapter 2 Section 212, is the prohibition of entry to the US if the Alien belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by "force, violence, or other unconstitutional means." This, by its very definition, rules out Islamic immigration to the United States.

This law is being ignored by the White House. Islamic immigration to the U.S. is prohibited under this law because the Koran, Sharia Law and the Hadith all require complete submission to Islam, which is antithetical to the US government, the Constitution, and to the Republic. All Muslims who believe that the Koran is life's guiding principal also believe in total submission to islam & sharia law.

To all who claim that Islam is a religion, read the law again ... the law states that Aliens who are affiliated with ANY "organization" that advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government are prohibited.

It's a law, 8 US CODE 1182 WAS Used By Carter in 1979.

Trump Wasn't Just Blathering Again. He has some SHARP PEOPLE working for him. Very interesting. Law of the Land...did you know this?

Here is number 8 US Code 1182, inadmissible aliens. This law was written in 1952. It was passed by a Democrat controlled Congress, House and Senate, and signed by a Democrat president.

"Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by president. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

All of the pundits that are claiming that what Trump said is dumb, stupid, reckless, dangerous, and/or unconstitutional, need to educate themselves. It is already the law of the land.

And it was utilized by Jimmy Carter, no less, in 1979 to keep Iranians out of the United States, but he actually did more. He made all Iranian students already here check in, and then he deported a bunch. Seven thousand were found in violation of their visas, 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the United States, 1979.

You probably won't hear of this from our mainstream media, nor from our "Imam-in-Chief".

But those are the facts.

The image sharply escalated in popularity following an unprecedented statement from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who on 7 December 2015 (in the wake of a mass shooting in San Bernardino that had occurred five days earlier) suggested the United States should bar all Muslims from entering the country until such time as lawmakers could "figure out what [was] going on"

Simply put, the rumor maintained that Muslims as a group were ineligible for admission to the United States based upon a law that prohibited entry to any alien who "belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by 'force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'"

The law referenced was the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran–Walter Act. Its text is available in full at the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services (USCIS) web site, where a preface indicates that the law has "been amended many times over the years but is still the basic body of immigration law."

The claim typically cited "Chapter 2 Section 212" of the Act, which excludes as ineligible for admission the following persons:

In general any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means.

That law, originally aimed at Communists, could be used now to exclude persons (both Muslims and non-Muslims) who have demonstrated an affiliation or sympathy with violent extremist groups professing Islamist motivations and goals (e.g., ISIS, al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram) from entering the U.S., but asserting that it enables a de facto ban on all Muslims is inaccurate. Most major religions involve basic, agreed-upon sets of tenets by which their faithful live, and no widely-accepted understanding of Islam encompasses a prohibition on following the laws of any country or advocates the overthrow of government.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was not without critics, among them President Harry S. Truman, who vetoed the bill on 25 June 1952. In a letter titled "Veto of Bill to Revise the Laws Relating to Immigration, Naturalization, and Nationality" and addressed to the House of Representatives, President Truman described the bill's provisions as both antithetical to American values and discriminatory:

The greatest vice of the present quota system, however, is that it discriminates, deliberately and intentionally, against many of the peoples of the world ... The desired effect [of selective admission of immigrants] was obtained ... People from such countries as Greece, or Spain, or Latvia were virtually deprived of any opportunity to come here at all, simply because Greeks or Spaniards or Latvians had not come here before 1920 in any substantial numbers.

The idea behind this discriminatory policy was, to put it baldly, that Americans with English or Irish names were better people and better citizens than Americans with Italian or Greek or Polish names. It was thought that people of West European origin made better citizens than Rumanians or Yugoslavs or Ukrainians or Hungarians or Baits or Austrians. Such a concept is utterly unworthy of our traditions and our ideals. It violates the great political doctrine of the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal." It denies the humanitarian creed inscribed beneath the Statue of Liberty proclaiming to all nations, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

It repudiates our basic religious concepts, our belief in the brotherhood of man, and in the words of St. Paul that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free .... for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

In that letter President Truman further maintained the act's provisions were out of alignment with foreign policy goals, inhibiting immigrants who needed it most from seeking safe harbor in America:

The basis of this quota system was false and unworthy in 1924. It is even worse now. At the present time, this quota system keeps out the very people we want to bring in. It is incredible to me that, in this year of 1952, we should again be enacting into law such a slur on the patriotism, the capacity, and the decency of a large part of our citizenry.

Today, we have entered into an alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty, with Italy, Greece, and Turkey against one of the most terrible threats mankind has ever faced. We are asking them to join with us in protecting the peace of the world. We are helping them to build their defenses, and train their men, in the common cause. But, through this bill we say to their people: You are less worthy to come to this country than Englishmen or Irishmen; you Italians, who need to find homes abroad in the hundreds of thousands — you shall have a quota of 5,645; you Greeks, struggling to assist the helpless victims of a communist civil war — you shall have a quota of 308; and you Turks, you are brave defenders of the Eastern flank, but you shall have a quota of only 225!

Truman's words seemed exceptionally prescient when he spoke of citizens in countries that had in recent years fallen behind the Iron Curtain:

Today, we are "protecting" ourselves, as we were in 1924, against being flooded by immigrants from Eastern Europe. This is fantastic. The countries of Eastern Europe have fallen under the communist yoke — they are silenced, fenced off by barbed wire and minefields — no one passes their borders but at the risk of his life. We do not need to be protected against immigrants from these countries — on the contrary we want to stretch out a helping hand, to save those who have managed to flee into Western Europe, to succor those who are brave enough to escape from barbarism, to welcome and restore them against the day when their countries will, as we hope, be free again ... some 30,000 Rumanians, who have managed to escape the labor camps and the mass deportations of their Soviet masters, have asked our help. These are only a few examples of the absurdity, the cruelty of carrying over into this year of 1952 the isolationist limitations of our 1924 law.

In that letter, President Truman spoke specifically of immigration quotas arranged deliberately to exclude specific nationalities. A large portion of the letter directly addressed Truman's belief that the American way of life ought to be extended to those living under the same totalitarian regimes the U.S. hoped to vanquish. Truman lamented that in "no other realm of our national life are we so hampered and stultified by the dead hand of the past, as we are in this field of immigration."

The "ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952" claim proved popular following a period of increasing rhetoric similar to that which Truman decried as discriminatory and outdated in 1952. The basic claim hinged on the tautological assertion that adherence to Islam alone constitutes participation in an "organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by 'force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'"


Perez, Evan, et al.   "Inside the Confusion of the Trump Executive Order and Travel Ban."     CNN.com.   29 January 2017.

U.S. Code.   "Title 8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible Aliens."     Accessed 30 January 2017.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.