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The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) is another representation of the white supremacist standpoint. It restricted Chinese immigration to the US for 10 years and prohibited the Chinese from become US citizens. It was enacted because the white Americans believed that the Chinese laborers were taking all their jobs and lowering the wage prices. This also contributed to the belief that the Chinese were racially inferior.
Angel Island in San Francisco was an entry point for Japanese and Chinese immigrants from 1910-1940. It differed from Ellis Island in New York, which was the entry point for European immigrants. At Ellis Island, the aliens were eligible for citizenship. However, at Angel Island, the aliens were ineligible for citizenship. The Asian immigrants had to go through health examinations, question and answer periods, and longer stays. This depicts the discrimination and struggles that Asian Americans had to face. While Ellis Island is seen as an icon of acceptance, Angel Island is viewed as a symbol of hardships. The 1965 Immigration Act was implemented to end racial discrimination in America. This immigration policy focused on the reunification of immigration families and the immigration of skilled laborers. This removed the Chinese Exclusion Act and allowed a great number of Asian immigrants to enter the US. By opening the doors to immigrants from all over the world, the demographic of the US greatly changed, resulting in the expansion of the Asian American community. Asian Americans were now able to use the opportunities available to them in the US and establish their identity.
Response B - Week 3 I. What are the different reasons that explain early Asian migration? What role did individual choice play in migration? What role did coercion have? Reasons for early Asian migration include economic opportunities, Western colonialism, and demand for labor. In the second chapter of A New History of Asian America, Shelly Sang-Hee Lee explains how after the first Opium War, southern China experienced economic decline and civil conflict. These issues caused a large amount of people to lose their land and jobs. The Chinese, mostly young male labor sojourners, began to emigrate overseas to find jobs elsewhere. This was by choice because they wanted to better their own lives. Some, however, were kidnapped and forced into the coolie trade. At the time, the British Empire dominated certain areas of Asia. As the slave trade became abolished, there was a great demand for labor. Asian emigrants were seen as a substitute for slaves. The captives were sold to foreign agencies and locked up in holdings on the vessels for months. This demonstrates that coercion played a large role in early Asian migration through the coolie trade. The coolie captives did not have a choice and could not control where they went. Some of the coolies traveled to Hawaii to work in the sugar mills. As Takaki mentions in Strangers from a Different Shore, the establishment of sugar mills in Hawaii increased the demand for labor. William Hooper, the owner of the sugar