Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. This law prevented immigration to the United States from China for ten years. It also prevented people from China that were already living here from becoming citizens during this ten- year period. This law was extended in 1892 and made permanent in 1902. It was repealed in 1943.
There was a growing fear that immigrants from China were taking jobs from Americans, especially those who were working on the railroad. There also was a concern that the growing influx of Chinese workers was driving down wages that were paid to the workers. As a result, the Chinese Exclusion Act was introduced in the House of Representatives, passed by the Senate, and signed into law by President Arthur. This was the first law passed that limited immigration of a major group of people from a specific part of the world.