With discussion of immigration restrictions in the news, we wanted to highlight collections of primary and secondary sources relating to the Chinese Exclusion Act.
In 1882 U.S. President Chester MacArthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The act passed through Congress as a 10-year ban on Chinese immigration to the United States, it was extended and ultimately repealed by the Magnuson Act of 1943. According to the library of congress’s Our Documents website, the Chinese Exclusion Act “provided an absolute 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic working group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities.”
Below are several links to primary and secondary sources relating to the act:
- The text of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
- A collection of primary sources on the Chinese Exclusion Act from the Libary of Congress.
- Background on Chinese immigration to the U.S. and the Chinese Exclusion Act from the office of the historian at the U.S. Department of State.
- An excerpt of a documentary about the Transcontinental Railroad focusing on the stories of Chinese labor from PBS Learning Media.
- The study guide to the documentary Becoming American: The Chinese Experience from Facing History and Ourselves.