1943 December 17

Chinese Exclusion Act Repealed


The Magnuson Act, enacted on this day, repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was signed on May 6, 1882. The exclusion act was arguably the most restrictive immigration law ever passed in the United States. It barred from immigration all Chinese laborers. Although it permitted the entry of some non-laborers, who were required to obtain certification from the Chinese government, few were able to quality. Repeal of the Exclusion Act at this time was spurred by the fact that China was an important ally of the U.S. against Japan in World War II.

See the important case where the Supreme Court ruled that the child of Chinese immigrants born in the U.S. is an American citizen: March 28, 1898.

Read: Erika Lee, At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882–1943 (2003)

Learn about the Asian American civil rights movement in Seattle: http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/aa_intro.htm

Learn more about an important challenge to the law: ttp://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_exclusion_background.html

Learn about the history of Chinese women in America: https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/chinese/1.html

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