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Congress closed the gate to Chinese immigrants almost entirely by extending the Chinese Exclusion Act for another 10 years in and making the extension indefinite in The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in with the passage of the Magnuson Act, which permitted a quota of Chinese immigrants annually. Various factors contributed to the repeal, such as the quieted anti-Chinese sentiment , the establishment of quota systems for immigrants of other nationalities who had rapidly increased in the United States, and the political consideration that the United States and China were allies in World War II.

Many scholars explain the institution of the Chinese Exclusion Act and similar laws as a product of the widespread anti-Chinese movement in California in the second half of the 19th century. The Chinese had constituted a significant minority on the West Coast since the middle of the 19th century.

Initially, they laboured in gold mines, where they showed a facility for finding gold. As a result, they encountered hostility and were gradually forced to leave the field and move to urban areas such as San Francisco , where they were often confined to performing some of the dirtiest and hardest work. Americans in the West persisted in their stereotyping of the Chinese as degraded, exotic, dangerous, and competitors for jobs and wages.

John F. In other words, the exclusion was the result of a grassroots anti-Chinese sentiment. Other scholars have argued that the exclusion should be blamed on top-down politics rather than a bottom-up movement, explaining that national politicians manipulated white workers to gain an electoral advantage.

Chinese emigration - Wikipedia

The exclusion laws had dramatic impacts on Chinese immigrants and communities. They significantly decreased the number of Chinese immigrants into the United States and forbade those who left to return. According to the U. Chinese immigrants were placed under a tremendous amount of government scrutiny and were often denied entry into the country on any possible grounds.

Upon arrival there a Chinese immigrant could be detained for weeks to years before being granted or denied entry. Chinese communities underwent dramatic changes as well.


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Because of the severe restrictions on female immigrants and the pattern of young men migrating alone, there emerged a largely bachelor society. Under the continuing anti-Chinese pressure, Chinatowns were established in urban cities, where the Chinese could retreat into their own cultural and social colonies.

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The excluded Chinese did not passively accept unfair treatment but rather used all types of tools to challenge or circumvent the laws. One such tool was the American judicial system. Despite having come from a country without a litigious tradition, Chinese immigrants learned quickly to use courts as a venue to fight for their rights and won many cases in which ordinances aimed against the Chinese were declared unconstitutional by either the state or federal courts.


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  5. They were aided in their legal battles by Frederick Bee , a California entrepreneur and attorney who was one of the principal American advocates of the civil rights of Chinese immigrants and who represented many of them in court from to They also protested against racial discrimination through other venues , such as the media and petitions. Labour recruiters sold the services of large numbers of unskilled Chinese in the coolie trade to planters in colonies overseas in exchange for money to feed their families.

    Causes and effects

    The laborers' lives were very harsh. Some labor recruiters promised good pay and good working conditions to get men signed onto three-year labor contracts. It was recorded that on one pepper estate, fifty coolies hired, only two survived in half a year. Usually, they were cheated of their wages and were unable to return to China after their contracts expired. Through most of China's history , strict controls [ further explanation needed ] prevented large numbers of people from leaving the country.

    In modern times, however, some have been allowed to leave for various reasons. For example, in the early s, about , people were allowed to enter Hong Kong. In the late s, vigilance against illegal migration to Hong Kong was again relaxed. Perhaps as many as , reached Hong Kong in , but in authorities on both sides resumed concerted efforts to reduce the flow.

    More liberalized emigration policies enacted in the s as part of the Opening of China facilitated the legal departure of increasing numbers of Chinese who joined their overseas Chinese relatives and friends. The Four Modernizations program, which required Chinese students and scholars , particularly scientists , to be able to attend foreign education and research institutions, brought about increased contact with the outside world, particularly the industrialized nations.

    In , emigration restrictions were eased as a result in part of the economic open-door policy. In , more than 11, business visas were issued to Chinese citizens, and in , approximately 15, Chinese scholars and students were in the United States alone. Any student who had the economic resources could apply for permission to study abroad.

    United States consular offices issued more than 12, immigrant visas in , and there were 60, Chinese with approved visa petitions in the immigration queue. Export of labor to foreign countries also increased. The signing of the United States-China Consular Convention in demonstrated the commitment to more liberal emigration policies. Both sides agreed to permit travel for the purpose of family reunification and to facilitate travel for individuals who claim both Chinese and United States citizenship.

    However, emigrating from China remained a complicated and lengthy process mainly because many countries were unwilling or unable to accept the large numbers of people who wished to emigrate. Other difficulties included bureaucratic delays and, in some cases, a reluctance on the part of Chinese authorities to issue passports and exit permits to individuals making notable contributions to the modernization effort. There has additionally been a consequential component of Chinese emigration of illegal origin, most notably Fuzhou immigrants from Fujian Province and Wenzhounese from Zhejiang Province in Mainland China, specifically destined for New York City [30] in the United States , beginning in the s.

    Quantification of the magnitude of this modality of emigration is imprecise and varies over time, but it appears to continue unabated on a significant basis. A much smaller wave of Chinese immigration to Malaysia came after the s, holding the citizenship of the People's Republic of China and mostly Mandarin -speaking Chinese from northern China. The only significant immigration to China has been by the overseas Chinese , who in the years since have been offered various enticements to repatriate to their homeland.

    Several million may have done so since The largest influx came in —79, when about , to , ethnic Chinese refugees fled Vietnam for southern China, as relations between the two countries worsened. First, the conditions of entry regime continue to emphasise the admission of highly skilled migrants. There remain limited designated legal routes for other types of labour and economic migration. Credit: Wikicommons. The migrant must also work for the employing entity as indicated on her work permit.

    Furthermore, the work permit is valid only in the geographical area specified by the labour administration certification authority.

    Chinese Exclusion Act

    Third, the institutionalisation of uncertainty under the EEAL regime is associated with a range of punitive measures on sanfei migrants, situated in a discourse of targeted enforcement by the state and other actors. The EEAL introduces harsher penalties for migrants engaged in illegal work, including detention and deportation. Meanwhile, employer sanctions are limited to fines. Employers must report to local public security bureaus in a timely manner a range of circumstances, including the compliance of the migrant with immigration rules.

    To date, there have been very few analyses of the legal regulation of labour migration in China.