Magnuson Act (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Repeal of Asian exclusion laws opens the way for further immigration reforms.
Summary of Event
The passage by Congress of the Immigration Act of 1943 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing it into law ended the era of legal exclusion of Chinese immigrants to the United States and began an era during which sizable numbers of Chinese and other Asian immigrants came to the country. It helped bring about significant changes in race relations in the United States.
The first wave of Chinese immigrants came from the Pearl River delta region in southern China. They began coming to California in 1848 during the gold rush and continued to come to the western states as miners, railroad builders, farmers, fishermen, and factory workers. Most were men. Many came as contract laborers and intended to return to China. Anti-Chinese feelings, begun during the gold rush and expressed in mob actions and local discriminatory laws, culminated in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, barring the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years. It was renewed in 1892, applied to Hawaii when those islands were annexed by the United States in 1898, and made permanent in 1904. Another bill, passed in 1924, made Asians ineligible for U.S. citizenship and disallowed Chinese wives of U.S. citizens to immigrate to the United States. As a result, the Chinese population in the United States declined from a peak of...
(The entire section is 1129 words.)
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