Oriental Exclusion Act Passed
Congress on this day passed the Oriental Exclusion Act, as part of the 1924 Immigration Act. While the law established a notorious quota system for immigration from Europe and most other parts of the world, it completely barred as “undesirable” all immigration from Japan, China, the Philippines, Siam (now Thailand), French Indo-China (now Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), Singapore, Korea, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Burma, India, Ceylon, and Malysia.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed on December 17, 1943. China was a vital ally of the United States during World War II at that time. Japanese-Americans who lived on the west coast, however, were at that time detained in concentration camps (officially known as Relocatoin Centers) as a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942), which authorized their removal.