A brief History of Chinese Immigration to the U by historyman


									              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
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
 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.
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
         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

1945   The War Brides Act                              The following three
                                                       legislation are all WWII
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.

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
      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).

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