Chinese Exlcusion act of 1882: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=47&page=transcript
For those of you reading this, that little poem at the base of that big green statue in New York harbor is a complete lie. Often the narrative of American history goes as follows; ‘the Tsar, the King of England, the Kaiser, the Emperor of China and the King of France were on a peasant killing spree. But thank God for the United States of America, for the blessings of Liberty on the North American continent saved them all. Our doors have always been open to all the tired, starving huddled masses, from 1776 to present!’ And then, sadly, some young citizens grow up and attend a college history class and get to learn about the Chinese Exclusion act. So, first, the who what when where. In 1882, a majority republican Congress along with Chester Arthur the republican president passed the Chinese Exclusion act which literally banned all Chinese seeking employment in the US from immigrating; giving refuge to ones already living in the United States. It is key to mention that the ban was on chinese workers (the only people in china who had any interest in coming to the US in the first place), Chinese aristocracy of course was welcome to visit anytime. During the same epoch, the government placed immigration quotas on Italians, Jews, Poles and even Irish but, nevertheless, none of these groups were outright banned from this continent. Although the Poles, Jews and Italians were held to be sub-human species by the almost all WASP congress and presidency, they were still given preference over the chinese; this reflects a policy of selective racism on the part of those landed white protestants still exclusively running the country 100 years in. The Chinese exclusion act was again ratified in 1892, extending it to 1902 and again, in 1902, was extended; the first legal chinese immigrations took place in the 1920’s. That doesn’t seem very welcoming to me.