Defending Citizenship

When the Chinese Exclusion Act again comes up for renewal in 1902, Congress re-creates it as "Asiatic Exclusion," adding people of Japanese or South Asian descent to the list of those denied entry or the right to acquire citizenship through naturalization, and extending Exclusion indefinitely.

In 1911, State Senator Anthony Caminetti, also an active member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, introduces a bill that would amend the constitution to remove voting rights from most ...
... African and Chinese Americans. Within months, Caminetti is appointed U.S. Commissioner-General of Immigration. He will oversee immigration for the next 18 years.

Walter U. Lum leads the group's work to defeat the Caminetti bill. The next January, the State denies papers of incorporation to the N.S.G.S. "because of the similarity of the name" with the white-only organization (San Francisco Call, January 6, 1912). The California State Legislature then intensifies the economic effect of ...
... Exclusion, passing the 1913 Alien Land Act to forbid "aliens ineligible for citizenship" from purchasing land.

The N.S.G.S. reorganizes to become a national organization, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.

Native-born San Franciscan Walter U. Lum (1882-1961) joins with friends, including 1895 founding secretary Ng Gunn, to re-activate the N.S.G.S. with a renewed focus on fighting for civil rights.

Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Grand Lodge President portrait





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