The first act establishing quotas was 1917. As stated in David's email
there may have been other reasons. One of my grandfather's siblings
went to South Africa (all of his brothers and sisters were in Chester,
PA by 1908) in 1914. We do not know the reasons. Another group of
four cousins went >from Lithuania to Cuba then spread out to Miami,
Colombia, Mexico, and Honduras followed by Panama. According to one
family story they did not have funds for all four to go to Chester.
Another version says that they settled on their ultimate destinations
based on where there were business opportunities. A final version of
the story is that they got on the boat in 1924 thinking they were
going to Chester through New York and then were told that they were
not in the quota. What is not disputable was that the 1917 and 1924
laws were aimed at excluding Eastern European Jews, Italians, Greeks
and Asians since the stated purpose was to maintain the ethnic balance
present in 1890.