U.S. Immigration Laws

U.S. Immigration Laws

The Unites States has had many discriminatory laws. The first immigration laws in the U.S. excluded Asians, non English speaking people, Eastern Europeans, homosexuals, and other “undesirables”. This is surprising to many today since America is considered as a “melting pot of diversity”.
China
America excluded Asians the most, and more specifically Chinese immigrants. This discrimination towards the Chinese and other Southeast Asians was a result of the Yellow Peril. The Yellow Peril was the fear of “danger” that eastern Asians could start in western countries in Europe in North America. Because of the Yellow Peril and discrimination against the Chinese congress felt pressures to keep Chinese out of America. "Yellow Peril," which, in the words of John Dower is "the core imagery of apes, lesser men, primitives, children, madmen, and beings who possessed special powers". (John Dower, pg 1)
The first step congress took was by passing the Page Act of 1875. It was the first federal immigration law in the United States and looked down upon allow Asian contract laborers looking for work in the United States. This was able to become a law because of fear o public fear on the west coast of Chinese “coolies” (who were mostly Chinese railroad workers who would work for less than white railroad workers) who American’s thought were taking away job opportunities. The Page Act also fortified the ban against bringing coolie laborers without the government’s consent which consisted of a jail sentence and up to a $2,000 fine.
Seven years after the Page Act took effect in an act to isolate the Chinese even more, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was adopted. The Chinese Exclusion Act was essentially the birth of illegal immigrants In the U.S. This restrained laborers from entering the United States for a total of 10 years and constrained Chinese naturalization. Since Chinese immigrants could be determined as illegal immigrants deportation operations were created. The main...

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