Thousands of immigrants attend an industry-led language session.
One hundred years ago, National Geographic wrote that immigration in the U.S. had never "occupied such a deep place in the mind of its people." A year before the end of the First World War, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which drastically restricted the flow of immigrants attempting to enter the United States. Families and individuals from mostly Eastern Europe, Ireland, and Scandinavia struggled to find refuge in a country historically accessible to Europeans.
The reactionary policy was one of America's largest steps toward nativism, but certainly not its last. The adage "history repeats itself" has perhaps never been more relevant. The photos above are a selection from the 1917 story "Our Foreign-Born Citizens."