This timeline is a brief look at events associated with the women's rights movement, the LGBTIQ movement, the civil rights movement, the immigration movement, and the labor/union movement.
Created by SAALT on Aug 14, 2008
Last updated: 04/04/11 at 04:18 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court decides that the Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional.
In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court rules that people have a “fundamental right to marry,” overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage.
The Real ID Act of 2005 goes into effect. Many states have requested extensions to come into compliance with the law.
An intermediate appellate court ruled that same-sex couples who marry outside New York are entitled to full recognition of their marriages in New York.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or the DREAM Act, is proposed. The Act would provide high-achieving high school students who are long-term undocumented immigrants and who wish to serve in the armed forces or attend college to be able to gain legal status. This legislation has yet to be passed.
Congressman David Wu (D-OR) was sworn in to a fifth term as a Member of the 110th Congress on January 3, 2007. Congressman Wu is the first and only Chinese-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
After the November 2006 midterm elections, The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) received more than 200 complaints of voting barriers faced by Asian American voters at the polls.
President Bush signs into effect the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This act denies detainees the right to challenge detention, convicts detainees of acts that were not illegal when taken, prohibits full and fair hearings, and denies detainees the right of habeas corpus, denying detainees of the fundamental right to challenge their imprisonment.
Thousands of immigrants and supporters of immigrant rights hold rallies around the United States.
The Act would have amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws and to enhance border security.
President Bush signs into effect the Real ID Act of 2005. This Act creates hurdles for documented and undocumented immigrants in securing driver’s licenses and other forms of government issued
Congress fails to pass the Civil Liberties Restoration Act, which would restore the liberties taken away by the Patriot Act.
The U.S. Supreme Court decides that laws against private, consensual, non-commercial sex between adults are a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision overturns the "sodomy laws" in the 13 states that still retain them.
U.S. Department of Transportation reports investigating 111 September 11th-related complaints from airline passengers who claimed that they were singled out at security screenings because of their ethnic or religious appearance.
The government implements the Alien Absconder Apprehension Initiative to locate and deport over 300,000 people. This initiative was aimed first at individuals from countries with Al-Qaeda links.
DOJ announces “S” visas for immigrants who provide information related to terrorists and cooperate with law enforcement during an investigation.
Attorney General Ashcroft orders “volunteer questioning” of 5,000+ men who come from countries where Al Qaeda has a “terrorist presence.” Second round of questioning begins in March 2002.
USA Patriot Act is passed, which expands the power of government agencies to target and investigate individuals for national security reasons.
The World Trade Center and the Pentagon are attacked.
Congress passes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the first comprehensive federal law enacted to address human trafficking.
Matthew Shepard, a gay student at University of Wyoming, is tortured and murdered.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act are passed, leading to increased criminalization of legal immigrants; the loss of access to public benefits for many immigrants; and the deportation of immigrants for minor crimes.
Congress passes "Defense of Marriage" act giving states the right to not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
California voters pass Proposition 187, which prohibits public educational, welfare, and health services to undocumented immigrants. The proposition is later found to be unconstitutional.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), comprised of members of Congress who have strong interests in promoting Asian Pacific American (APA) issues and advocating the concerns of APAs, is formed.
The Violence Against Women Act is passed in order to provide services for survivors of rape and domestic violence, and also to provide battered immigrant women on dependent visas to petition for immigrant status without their spouse’s participation.
The U.S. government implements a blockade strategy across the U.S.-Mexico border, forcing migrants to cross through the desert. By 2003, over 3,000 people have died trying to cross the border.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is instituted for the U.S. military, permitting gays to serve in the military but banning them from disclosing their sexual orientation while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Korean businesses looted and burned as a result of riots in Los Angeles due to outrage over Rodney King verdict.
The Immigration Act of 1990 increases the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. each year to 700,000.
Congress removes homosexuality as a reason to disqualify foreigners from immigrating, or even visiting, the U.S.
The U.S. House of Representatives votes 243 to 141 to make an official apology to Japanese Americans and to pay each surviving internee $20,000 in reparations.
Immigration Reform and Control Act gives amnesty to approximately three million undocumented residents, and makes it illegal for employers to hire undocumented workers. The Act imposes civil and criminal penalties on employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.
Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, is murdered in Detroit by two men who blamed Japanese workers for taking their auto manufacturing jobs. The men are fined but not prosecuted.
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concludes that the internment of Japanese Americans was a "grave injustice" and that Executive Order 9066 resulted from "race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership."
1980 Refugee Act brings U.S. refugee law in accordance with international standards.
President Gerald Ford rescinds Executive Order 9066 (the Executive Order that authorized the internment of Japanese Americans) 34 years after it was implemented.
Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act allows refugees from Southeast Asia to reside in the U.S. More than 130,000 refugees enter the U.S. from Vietnam, Kampuchea, and Laos as Communist governments are established there.
The Supreme Court decides that school districts with children who speak limited English must provide them with access to bilingual classes