1. How did the author feel about immigrating to the United States?

This was not without psychological consequences, however, as more and more lived a "shadowed" existence. "In the 1930s, sociologist Paul Siu found that Chinese immigrants and Chinese American citizens suffered from a deep-rooted sense of insecurity, a 'psychology of fear'"(Lee 237). "The secrecy involved in maintaining double identities could be damaging. Charles Choy Wong, whose father had entered as a paper son during the exclusion era, found that the need for secret names created a 'split personality of fractured identity' in himself that he never quite reconciled" (Lee 240-241).

 There are many issues concerning immigration and racism that still plague the United States today.

Chinese immigration to this nation is a shameful chapter in our history. Knowledge of this history of discrimination against the Chinese and changes resulting from Supreme Court decisions will serve as an important basis for better understanding two novels that I plan to teach: by Fae Myenne Ng and by Amy Tan. Chinese men flocked to our western coast in search of gold in the 1840s and in search of work on the railroads later in the century. Many were lured under false pretenses, and streets paved with gold and opportunity were not to be found as expected. Again in the 1940s another wave of immigration occurred, prompted by the coming of communism in China. Discrimination was awful and intense. Many of the injustices were addressed by the courts. For example, is it acceptable for a law to be applied arbitrarily to one group while another group continues to defy the law with impunity? Also, do aliens have equal protection under our constitution? Such was the basis for a case that eventually made it to the Supreme Court late in the nineteenth century of Yick Wo vs. Hopkins.

1. Chinese immigrant applying for entry into the United States.

The Chinese Exclusion Act has a lot in common with illegal immigration, and immigration in general.

Some 175,000 Chinese immigrants passed through the U.S. Angel Island immigration facility from 1910 to 1940. Faced with discrimination and corruption, Chinese Americans formed strong organizations. The Six Companies of benevolent societies offered a public voice. Secret societies called tongs were involved in crime, but also provided community welfare services.

Transcript of Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) | Reliable …

The first such case addressed the clearly discriminatory Miner's Tax that imposed taxes and fees only on "foreigners," meaning non-whites in practice. The first such tax was passed in 1854. This was followed by an even more inclusive version in 1862 imposing taxes on all forms of work. The tax was known as the Capitation or Chinese Police Tax.

Hot Essays: The Injustice of the Chinese Exclusion Act Essay

With these federal protections available to them, the Chinese were able to address numerous discriminatory actions at the state and local levels aimed at the Chinese community. Some were based in a fear of economic competition and attempted to maintain or create a Caucasian monopoly, while others were more malignant based in racial hatred. In a series of precedent-setting decisions, the Courts struck down attempts to apply punitive laws aimed solely at the Chinese.

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Several laws passed in the nineteenth century made access to the courts available to the Chinese immigrants. First was the Fourteenth Amendment which gave all persons of the United States, be they born here, nationalized, or merely residents "equal protection of the laws." In addition, "in 1870, Congress passed a civil-rights act, intended primarily to protect the rights of newly emancipated black in the southern states, but containing as well a provision that was aimed specifically at removing Chinese civil disabilities" (McClain 8). Also, the provisions of the Burlingame Treaty between the United States and China protected the Chinese. Had the Chinese abrogated this treaty, all Americans in China and all Chinese in America would have been forced to return to their countries of origin. Clearly it was more profitable for our nation to prevent this.