The perceived need to re-unite military families after World War II, initially addressed by ad-hoc war-brides legislation, played a key role in the reformulation of U.S. immigration policy. The large number of military spouses, especially from Asia, pushed policymakers to revise their notions of racial admissibility, thus helping to establish family re-unification as the driving force behind immigration reform. Though unnoticed at the time, the combination of wartime service, patriotism, and marriage formed an inadvertent road map for the family-centric, and ultimately racially neutral, admissions policies that would dominate U.S. immigration law after 1965. The importance of Asian war brides in shaping the contours of U.S. policy stands in even stronger relief when compared to the relative unimportance of the issue in Canada, another major participant in World War II, which also pursued immigration reform during the 1960s.

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