A brief History of Chinese Immigration to the U.S. By Dr. Miles Xian Liu YEAR LEGISLATION & EVENTS NOTES 1790 The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited citizenship to “free white persons” only. 1848 Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, CA. First wave of Asian immigrants to North America. 1850 California became a state of the U.S. 1862 Leland Stanford became governor of Stanford was not California; and the first anti-coolie club directly involved in was formed in California. the formation of the In L. Stanford’s inaugural address, anti-coolie club. Stanford said: “To my mind it is clear, that the settlement among us of an The “Big Four” in the inferior race is to be discouraged by transcontinental every legitimate means. Asia, with her railroad business are: numberless millions, sends to our L. Stanford, Charles shores the dregs of her population.” Crocker, Mark L. Stanford became the president of the Hopkins, and C. P. Central Pacific Railroad later that year. Huntington. 1863 The Central Pacific Railroad broke ground in California. But it took two years to lay its first 50 miles of track. Charles Crocker was convinced that the Asian race that had built the Great Wall of China could also help build his dream. Of course, he met with tremendous resistance at the beginning, from government and labor. Gov. L. Stanford, who had run on the anti-Chinese platform, was first and foremost a businessman. His bottom line proved more important than his campaign pledges and slogans. YEAR LEGISLATION & EVENTS NOTES 1865 Jan.: 50 Chinese were hired from China Second wave of Asian on an experimental basis. They proved immigrants to North successful than anyone anticipated; America. June: 3000 Chinese workers were on the railroad construction, hence the second wave of Asian immigrants to North America. 1868 Summer: 12,600 Chinese workers were A group of Chinese & working on the railroad construction— Irish workers laid a nine tenth of the total 14,000 at the record 10 miles of track time. in just under 12 hours. By now, the “gold rush” and railroad But not a single Chinese jobs had brought over 50,000 Asians to was allowed in the the U.S. They worked everywhere infamous photo taken from restaurants to farmland. when the transcontinental rails finally met in 1869. 1870 The Alien Land Act of 1870 forbade the “The driving out,” that ownership of American land by Chinese. began in early 1870s, That discriminatory “privilege” was later lasted about 10 years. extended to all Asians. 1881 11,890 entered the U.S. Chinese immigrants were only 0.02% in 1880, yet the Chinese question was a major national issue. 1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 In the history of the had three main clauses: world, there were two 1) Refusing the entry of Chinese laborers other countries that into the U.S. for 10 years; once withheld 2) Forbidding the entry of the wives of the naturalization on current Chinese residents in the U.S.; purely racial grounds: 3) Declaring that Chinese were totally Nazi Germany and ineligible for citizenship. South Africa. 39,579 Asians entered the U.S. right Anti-miscegenation before the Exclusion Act went into laws were in full force effect, but only 136 of them were at this time. women. YEAR LEGISLATION & EVENTS NOTES 1892 The Geary Act further toughened the Exclusion Act. The # of Chinese who entered the U.S. was ZERO that year. 1917 The U.S. Supreme Court declared the Alien Land Act of 1870 unconstitutional. But California continued to enforce it in all aspects of business practice. 1924 INS annual quota were established by country: Quota for China: 105 Quota for Poland: 6,524 The Immigration Act barred the entry of those “ineligible” for citizenship into the U.S. 1943 President Roosevelt called the exclusion “a historical mistake;” On Dec. 17, he signed the Magnuson Act regarding the exclusion laws and allowing the Chinese to be naturalized. 1945 The War Brides Act The following three legislation are all WWII related. 1946 Chinese wives of U.S. citizens may live with their husbands now in the U.S. 1948 The Displaced Persons Act California state legislature passed a bill in May to allow Chinese and other minorities to buy houses and own lands. California Supreme Court declared the “anti-miscegenation” anti-miscegenation laws laws: laws that forbid unconstitutional in October. interracial marriages. YEAR LEGISLATION & EVENTS NOTES 1952 The McCarren-Walter Act virtually barred anyone from Communist countries from entering the U.S. The mainland China was included, of course. 1965 The Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments repealed the old national- origin quota system. Though still in favor of immigrants from the West, it allowed 20,000 Chinese each year into the U.S. now. 1976 The INAA of 1965 was amended again to remove the inequities between the eastern- and western-hemisphere limitations—now limits of 20,000 for each country per year. Between 1965 and 1984, the # of Chinese immigrants jumped to 419,373, approximately the total of Chinese who came to the US during the period of 80 1980s years between 1849 and 1930. But, by the percentage, the Chinese population in the US stood at 0.42% in 1985. US Census Bureau: Asians are 3% of the national population; 37% of those 25 or older have BA, and 14% them have Masters or higher; 10% of the nation’s 1990s medical doctors are of Asian backgrounds. But Asians make up less than 1% in the House of Representatives, and only 1.5% of the work force in news media (broadcasting and newspapers).
Pages to are hidden for
"A brief History of Chinese Immigration to the U"Please download to view full document