A Legislative Timeline

1868
The U.S. signs the Burlingame Treaty with China, to formally recognize "the inherent and inalien­able right of man to change his home and alle­giance."

1875
While the stated purpose of the Page Law of 1875 is to prevent Chinese prostitutes from entering the United States, it is instead used to exclude Chinese women.

1882
In 1882, Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act. It prevents people of Chinese descent from becoming naturalized citizens, or -- except for members of a few narrowly defined professions -- from ...
... immigrating to the U.S. at all. Many fami­lies are split, with wives and children stranded overseas. The act originally passes as a temporary measure to last for ten years.

1892
Congress passes the Geary Act which renews the Chinese Exclusion Act for another ten years, and requires people of Chi­nese descent to register and carry a Certificate of Residence. The Chinese of America conduct massive civil disobedience against the registration scheme, and fight the law in the courts.

1902/1904
Congress renews the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1902, and in 1904 reaffirms ...
... and makes permanent "all laws…prohibiting the coming of Chinese per­sons or persons of Chinese descent into the United States…"

1907
Congress legislates that a woman who marries is assigned the nationality of her husband, regard­less of whether she is a native-born citizen of the U.S.

1917
Congress extends the Chinese Exclusion Act into "Asiatic Exclusion," barring from admission any­one born in what Congress now calls the "Asiatic Barred Zone." It includes most of the continent and the Pacific.

1922
The ...
... Cable Act reforms the law that removes a woman's U.S. citizenship upon marrying a foreign national, but because of America's "Asiatic Exclusion" policy, this does not extend to women who marry Chinese nationals.

1924
The Immigration Act of 1924 again widens exclu­sion, creating national origins quotas that dis­criminate against immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and Africa.

1940s
Chinese Americans continue to fight for immigra­tion reform, lobbying to allow family reunifica­tion. After the U.S. enters WWII as an ally of China, Congress passes a ...
... 1943 "repeal" of Chinese Exclusion that restores the right to naturalization, but establishes a national origins quota that per­mits only 105 people of Chinese descent to enter each year. Until 1947, wives of Chinese descent are excluded from the War Brides Act of 1945, passed to facilitate the immigration of wives of U.S. servicemen.

1952
Congress passes the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to create one comprehensive statute out of the multiple previous laws, and revises the national origins quota system to be tied to the composition of the U.S. as recorded in the census of 1920.

...
... 1965/1968
In 1965, President Johnson signs the Hart Cellar Act, to abolish -- in 1968 -- race, ancestry, or na­tional origin as the basis for immigration, calling the previous laws "un-American in the highest sense."







SOURCES:

Thomas W. Chinn, Him Mark Lai, and Philip P. Choy, A History of the Chinese in California, (San Francisco: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1969).

Christian G. Fritz, “Bitter Strength (k’ u-li) and the Constitution: the Chinese before the Federal Courts in California,” The Historical Reporter, published by the Historical Society of the U.S. ...
... District Court for the Northern District of California, Autumn 1980, Vol. 1(1).

Bill Ong Hing, Making and Remaking Asian America through Immigration Policy, 1850-1990 (Stanford Univ. Press, 1993); Defining America through Immigration Policy, (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 2004).

Charles J. McClain, In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

Marian L. Smith, “‘Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married…’ — Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940,” Prologue Magazine, published by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, ...
... Summer 1998, Vol. 30(2).

U.S. Government, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Historical Immigration and Naturalization Legislation,” www.uscis.gov




National Asian Pacific American
Bar Association

2007 NAPABA Convention
November 15-18
JW Marriott Las Vegas


Remembering 1882:
Fighting for Civil Rights
in the Shadow of
the Chinese Exclusion Act



Exhibit underwriter
Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co., L.P.A.

Booklet underwriter
Kenneth Lee Family Foundation
Morrison & Foerster, LLP


Remembering1882.org

SOURCES:

Thomas W. Chinn, Him ...
... Mark Lai, and Philip P. Choy, A History of the Chinese in California, (San Francisco: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1969).

Christian G. Fritz, “Bitter Strength (k’ u-li) and the Constitution: the Chinese before the Federal Courts in California,” The Historical Reporter, published by the Historical Society of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Autumn 1980, Vol. 1(1).

Bill Ong Hing, Making and Remaking Asian America through Immigration Policy, 1850-1990 (Stanford Univ. Press, 1993); Defining America through Immigration Policy, (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 2004).

Charles J. McClain, In Search of ...
... Equality: The Chinese Struggle against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

Marian L. Smith, “‘Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married…’ — Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940,” Prologue Magazine, published by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Summer 1998, Vol. 30(2).

U.S. Government, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Historical Immigration and Naturalization Legislation,” www.uscis.gov

Remembering1882.org



High federal officials Anthony Caminetti, William B. Wilson, and Terence V. Powderly
Courtesy the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, Terence Vincent Powderly Photographic Prints, Box 3 Item 254

 

 

 

 

 

    ©Chinese Historical Society of America. Exhibit Microsite Powered by Content Connie. Design by Big Blue Ox.