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Asian Immigration • 1788: First Asian immigration to the United States. • 1848: Gold discovered in California. • 1865: Central Pacific Railroad recruits Chinese laborers. • 1875: The Page Act › Established first quotas on Asian immigration. › Eliminated standard citizenship rights for Chinese-Americans. • 1882: The Chinese Exclusion Act › Essentially banned all Chinese immigration. › Limited Immigration continued until it was repealed in 1943. • 1924: The Asian Exclusion Act › Excluded all classes of Chinese immigrants. › Extended restrictions to other Asian immigrant groups.
The Angel Island Immigration Station Immigrant processing facility. Located on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay. Ellis Island of the West. Served as the processing center for hundreds of thousands of immigrants between 1910 and 1940. Housed German and Japanese POWs during WWII.
When we arrived, they locked us up like criminals in compartments like cages at the zoo.” - Chinese Detainee, 1940
Detainees turned to poetry, carving their longing into the walls that contained them.
“There are tens of thousands of poemson these wallsThey are all cries of suffering and sadnessThe day I am rid of this prison andbecome successfulI must remember that this chapteronce existedI must be frugal in my dailyneedsNeedless extravagance usuallyleads to ruinAll my compatriots shouldremember ChinaOnce you have made some small gainsyou should returnhome early”Written by one from Heungshan
Angel Island: The Legacy Added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark. On the day of his inauguration, President Barack Obama declared January 20th as national Angel Island Day.