Historically, the Chinese in US have experienced significant racial discrimination. The exact beginnings of this discrimination are founded on the various government policies which have been passed in order to manage the activities of Chinese in the US…
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These revisions ensured that the US could stop Chinese immigration and that this ban would last for 10 years. This law was later repealed in 1943. However despite such repeal, the act already implemented policies and set a precedent on the appropriate actions and attitudes which could be taken against the Chinese. This paper shall discuss the Chinese Exclusion Act has become the starting point and how it has resulted to decades of anti-Chinese sentiment. This paper is being carried out in order to establish a clear and comprehensive understanding of the implications and the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act and how it has managed to continue to bear impact on the current attitudes and perceptions of Americans against the Chinese. Due to the California Gold Rush which lasted from 1848 to 1855, Chinese immigration to America started and this continued with the building of the first railroad systems (Kanazawa 780). In the early years of the Gold Rush where there was plenty of surface gold, tolerance for the Chinese was relatively high. In fact, because they were hard and persevering workers, they were easily accepted. However, as gold became harder to find and competition also increased, the tolerance for the Chinese and other foreigners was significantly decreased (Liu 152). At one point, many of them were even forcefully removed from the mines. These Chinese later settled in groups in various California cities, including San Francisco, taking in all sorts of odd jobs like laundry and working restaurants (Liu153). As a decline in the economy became apparent at the end of the Civil War, anti-Chinese sentiments became political issues raised by labor leader Denis Kearney and by then California Governor John Bigler (Murphy 458). These politicians attributed blame for lower wages to the Chinese ‘coolies.’ The Supreme Order of Caucasians which was a nationwide organization was also active in its anti-Chinese sentiments (Tian). As a result of the tension in the US involving the Chinese, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. This Act posed a restriction on free immigration into the US, and the specific target of this restriction was the Chinese. This act specifically mandated that skilled and unskilled Chinese laborers involved in mining were barred from entering the US for ten years; and if found guilty, they would be imprisoned and deported (Kanazawa 779). This act did not lead to the restriction of the Chinese immigrants into the US, however, it also led to various incidents of violence against them. Those who wanted to immigrate into the US had to ask for their government’s certification that they were indeed qualified to immigrate and this permit was also difficult to avail from their government (Kanazawa 780). This Exclusion Act provided the seed for other Chinese exclusionary laws in the US (Volpp). This act did not just impact on the Chinese people, but also on other Asians who were already in the US. For Chinese already in the US, they had to go back to China and obtain certifications. This act made the Chinese permanent aliens who could also not seek American citizenship (Volpp). After the act was passed, the Chinese men in the US did not have much chance of reuniting with the families or of even starting new families in the US. The amendments in 1884 provided further changes; these changes allowed those who were already immigrants to leave and then return. It also clarified that the act was applicable to
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The conclusion from this study states that while some palpable progress is made in terms of equitable civil rights for minority races in America, issues of racism and discrimination continue to persist. For example, less than 15 percent of elected representatives in the Congress are from minority communities, which is disproportionately low.
Moreover, there are many cases in which immigrants in general and Muslim immigrants in particular being harassed at American airports. The recent global financial crisis caused huge problems to America so that the call to expel immigrants from American soil is growing day by day.
Therefore, the Act, formulated at the backdrop of increased anti-Chinese campaigns, materially affected the North American region and was a massive blow to the migration of Chinese laborers to the western United States.
In whichever society ideological racism thrives, one can expect its manifestation in the policy frameworks of leading institutions. Ideological racism is usually associated with the majority communitys discriminatory attitude toward the
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From the time of their arrival they have suffered discrimination and indignity. Yet, because of their strong social systems and their deep-rooted cultural values, they have been successful at becoming a part of America. Today they excel at citizenship, education, and business.
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