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Immigration to the United States during the late 19th to early 20th century

For many, immigration to the United States during the late 19th to early 20th century would be a new beginning to a prosperous life. However there were many acts and laws past to limit the influx of immigrants, do to prejudice, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. Later on into the 20th century there would be laws repealing the older immigration laws and acts making it possible for many more foreigners to immigrate to the United States. Even with the new acts and laws that banned the older ones, no one can just walk right in and become a citizen.

One must go through several examinations and tests before he or she can earn their citizenship. One man who has experienced immigrating into the United States is Charles B. Wang, an immigrant from China that has made himself a multibillion-dollar fortune in the computer industry. The Chinese Americans who originally faced extreme racism on the west cost are spread across the nation today and most have kept their culture. Many immigration laws and acts were placed against foreigners to control the influx of immigrants arriving on the American shores.

The first of these was the Chinese Exclusion Act of May 6, 1882. ,1098) Although directly affecting only a small group, it was the turning point of the U. S. immigration policies. Prior to this act no significant number of free immigrants had been barred from the country. Once the Chinese Exclusion Act had been placed, further limitations on the immigration of ethnic groups became standard procedure for more than eight decades . (3,1098) Since the arrival of the first Chinese Immigrants, racist hostility towards the Chinese always existed. (3,342)

They were predominantly male laborers, concentrated in California. ,342) They were vital to the development of western mining, transportation, and agriculture. (3,342) By 1876 enough political pressure existed to cause a congressional investigation. (3,342) An 1880 treaty gave the United States the unilateral right to regulate, limit or suspend the immigration of Chinese laborers, canceling the right of Chinese to enter the country. (3,1098) Congress the suspended the immigration of Chinese laborers for twenty years, but President Chester A. Arthur vetoed the bill, arguing that a shorter experiment was more prudent.

Congress quickly complied and made a ten-year bill that the President signed on May 6, 1882. (3,343) The Act suspended immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years while exempting teachers, students, merchants, and tourists. (3,343) It also denied all Chinese persons the right to become naturalized citizens. (3,1098) The law was renewed for a second ten-year period in 1892 and then made permanent in 1902. (3,343) Chinese Exclusion Act had set a precedent for many other immigration laws and acts to come. The Immigration Act of March 3, 1891 was the first comprehensive law for national control of immigration. ,1098)

It established the Bureau of Immigraion under the Treasury Department to administer all immigration laws (except the Chinese Exclusion Act). (3,1098) This Immigration Act also added to the inadmissible classes. The people in these classes were inadmissible to enter into the United States. (3,1098) The people in these classes were, those suffering from a contagious disease, and persons convicted of certain crimes. (3,1098) The Immigration Act of March 3, 1903 and The Immigration Act of February 20, 1907 added further categories to the inadmissible list. (3,1141)

Immigrants were screened for their political beliefs. ,1141) Immigrants who were believed to be anarchists or those who advocated the overthrow of government by force or the assassination of a public officer was deported. (3,1141) This act was made mainly do to the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. (3,1140) On February 5, 1917 another immigration act was made. (3,1098) This Act codified all previous exclusion provisions and added the exclusion of illiterate aliens form entering into the United States. (3,1098) It also created a barred zone(Asia-Pacific triangle), whose natives were also inadmissible. ,1098) This Act made Mexicans inadmissible. (3,1395)

It insisted that all aliens pay a head tax of $8 dollars. (3,1395) However, because of the high demand for labor in the southwest, months later congress let Mexican workers (braceros) to stay in the U. S. under supervision of state government for six month periods. (3,1395) A series of statutes were made in 1917,1918, and 1920. (3,1141) The sought to define more clearly which aliens were admissible and which aliens were deportable. These decisions were made mostly on the aliens political beliefs. ,1141)

They formed these statutes in reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which led to a Russian economic recession and a surge of immigrants used to communistic ideals bringing along with them a red scare. (3,1141) The Immigration act of May 26, 1924, consolidated all of the statutes and laws in the past. (3,1141) It also established a quota system designed to favor the Northwestern Europeans because others were deemed less likely to support the American way of life. (3,1141) The act also barred all Asians as aliens ineligible for citizenship in the U.

S. (3,343) The act of June 14, 1940 permanently transferred the Immigration and Naturalization Service from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice. (3,1098) The Act of April 29, 1943 provided for the importation of temporary agricultural laborers to the U. S. from North, South, and Central America. (3,1098) The Program served as the Legal basis for the Mexican bracero program, which lasted through 1964. (3,1098) The Displaced Persons Act of June 25, 1948 was a respond to the large numbers of Europeans who had been turned into refuges by World War Two. ,1096)

It also marked the first Major expression of U. S. policy for admitting persons fleeing persecution. (3,1096) They still had a quota however, of 205,000 displaced persons in a two-year period. (3,1096) The priority went to aliens who were farm laborers and those who had special skills. Racial and Religious factors also affected the implementation of the Act. (3,1096) From June 30 until July 1 half of the German and Austrian quotas were available exclusively to persons of German ethnic origin who were born in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, or Yugoslavia and who resided in Germany or Austria. ,1096)

The Immigration and Nationality Act of June 27, 1952 also known as the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was passed over the veto of President Harry S. Truman. (3,1096) The Act made all immigration laws compact into one comprehensive statute. (3,1099) All of the races were made eligible for naturalization. Sex discrimination was eliminated with respect to immigration. (3,1099) However it still had a quota in preference to skilled aliens. (3,1099) It also broadened the grounds for exclusion and deportation of aliens. (3,1096)

The Immigration and Nationality Act of October 3, 1965 abolished the national-origins quota system, elimination national origin, race, or ancestry as a basis for immigration. (3,1099) It also established a limit of 170,000 immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere per year and 120,000 limit per year on the Western Hemisphere. (3,1096) The Act also established a 20,000 per-country limit within numerical restrictions for Eastern Hemisphere, applied in 1976 to Western Hemisphere in 1976. (3,1099) The Refugee Act of March 17, 1980 was the first omnibus refugee act enacted by congress. ,1099)

The act passed through congress mainly because of the hundreds of thousands of refuges that come to the U. S. in the 50s, 60s, and 70s because of communist oppression. The Refugee Act established procedures for consultation between the president and congress on the numbers and allocations of refugees to be admitted in to the country in each fiscal year. (3,1096) It also established procedures on how to respond to emergency refugee situations in conformity with 1967 United Nations protocol on refugees. (3,1096) Through this act, refugees attained permanent resident status. ,1099) The wanted to lower the number of refugees admitted but that plan was a failure. (3,1099)

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of Nov 6, 1986, was signed by President Ronald Reagan. (3,1097) Through this act illegal aliens who had resided in an unlawful status since January 1, 1982 could be legalized. (3,1099) This act also prohibited employers from knowingly hiring an illegal alien. (3,1099) It increased immigration by making adjustments for Cubans and Haitians who had entered the U. S. without inspection prior to January 1, 1982. (3,1099) Through this act at least 700,000 visas were issued. ( 3,1100)

A Person becomes a citizen of the United States of America through a rigorous application. The First step is to get an application and, except for children under 14 years of age, a fingerprint card and a biographic information form from the nearest office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service or from a social service agency in the community. (1,66) For him or herself one must fill out Form N-400. (1,66) If it is for a child fill out Form N – 402. (1,67)

The Application, the fingerprint card, and the Biographic Information form if appropriate, must be filled out correctly and returned to Immigration and Naturalization Service. ,67) Three unsigned photographs as described in the application must be submitted. (1,67) A fee is required when filling out N-400 or N-402. (1,67) After the application is completed by the Immigration service, the applicant must go for a test. If eligible, after the test, the applicant is to feel out a paper known as a petition for naturalization, in the court. (1,68)

The Final court hearing is after: the examination is completed, the petition filed in court, and all investigations of fitness for citizenship completed. ,68) Then the petitioner will be notified to appear before the court for the final hearing. (1,68) If the examiner agrees that the applicant should be a citizen, he or she becomes a citizen. (1,68)

If the examiner does not agree, he or she will have to come to court with or without an attorney and the judge will hear what the petitioner has to say. (1,68) The judge then has the final call on whether the petitioner becomes a citizen or not. (1,68) You can become a citizen if you meet the following requirements: you have been a legal permanent resident for five years, or three years if you are married to a U. S. citizen, you have lived in the U. S. for at least 2-1/2 years (50%) of the five year period, or 1-1/2 years (50%) if you are married to a citizen, you have lived for more than three months in the state where you apply for citizenship, you have good moral character. (6)

Charles B. Wang chairman and CEO of Computer Associates International, Inc. immigrated to the United States from China in 1952 at the age of eight. (2,400) His family fled their homeland following the Communist takeover of China. ,400) His father was a former Supreme Court Justice in China, and advised his three sons to pursue careers in math and science, area where language would be less of an obstacle to succeed. (2,400) The Wangs settled in Queens, New York, and began a new life with almost nothing, having abandoned most of their possessions. (2,400)

After graduating Brooklyn Technical High School, then graduating from City University of New Yorks Queens College in 1967 with a B. S. in mathematics. (2,400) He began his computer career as a trainee at Columbia Universitys Riverside Research Institute. ,400) Wang just finished successfully launching the companys software division when a Swiss firm called Computer Associates International, Ltd. Offered a contract to Wangs boss to sell its software in the United States. (2,401)

The bosss refusal proved to be Wangs opportunity. (2,401) In 1976, together with three associates and an exclusive contracted to distribute one CA International- developed software program, Wang started his own company, a subsidiary of CA International. He was the marketing department and sales force, Wang also made most of the furniture for the small CA office. ,401) By the end of the year Wangs company had over 200 clients and was growing very quickly. (2,401)

By 1980 Wangs subsidiary company ended up buying out the parent company of Computer Associates International Inc. (2,401) Led by Wang as CEO and Chairman CA aquired more than fifty software companies, the largest being a $780 million buyout of archrival Uccel Corporation in 1987. (2,401) By 1989, CA became the first independent software company to reach $ 1 billion in sales. (2,401) Five year later their fiscal year ending was $1. 84 billion. (2,401) As a testament to Mr.

Wang’s vision and leadership, CA continues to lead the industry in such key measures as revenue and profitability per employee. (4) Fortune Magazine has named CA one of “America’s Most Admired Companies” and a “Best Company to Work for in America. ” (4) Computerworld has recognized CA as a “Best Place” to work for five consecutive years, and IndustryWeek has honored CA as being one of the 100 best-managed companies in the world for the past two years. (4) Mr. Wang has demonstrated a fervent interest in how computer technology can improve the lives of children and promote closer relationships between people around the world. )

His support extends to such organizations as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (4) He also established The Smile Train, an unprecedented medical and technology initiative dedicated to helping children with cleft lips and palates and other facial deformities. (4) Mr. Wang also has endowed $25 million for a high technology Asian American Center at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, the largest private gift in the history of the SUNY system.

The center will be dedicated to the advancement of education, cultural exchanges, business and technology. (4) In addition, Mr. Wang strongly encourages employees to participate in CA’s Matching Charitable Gifts Program, under which the company matches 200 percent of each donation to hospitals, community funds, educational, cultural institutions, social service and environmental organizations. (4)

Charles Wang, Like many Chinese immigrants worked hard and succeeded in their goals. In many respects, the motivations for Chinese to go to the United States were similar to those of most immigrants. ,298) Some came to the Gold Mountain, the United States, to seek better economic opportunity, While others were compelled to leave China either as contract laborers or refugees. ( 2,298) They brought with them their language, culture, social institutions, and customs, and over time, they made lasting contributions to their adopted country and tried to become an integral part of the U. S. population. (2,298)

However, their collective experiences as a racial minority, since they first arrived in the mid-nineteenth century, differs significantly from the European immigrant groups and other racial minorities. ,298) Chinese were singled out for discrimination through laws enacted by states in which they had settled; they were the first immigrant group to be targeted for exclusion and denial of citizenship by the U. S. Congress in 1882. (2,298) Chinese immigration can be roughly divided into three periods: 1849-1882, 1882-1965, and 1965 to the present. (2,298) The First wave was right after the Gold Rush in California and was ended abruptly by the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. ,298)

In between this time Thousands of Chinese immigrated or traveled freely from China and San Francisco. (2,299) They were mostly young male peasants, that left their villages to become contract laborers in the American West. (2,299) They were recruited to extract minerals and metals, construct a vast railroad network, reclaim swamplands, build irrigation systems, work as migrant agricultural laborers, develop the fishing industry, and operate highly competitive, labor-intensive manufacturing industries in the Western States. ,299) After 1882, only diplomats, merchants, and students and their dependents were allowed to travel between the U. S. and China. (2,299).

Chinese Immigrants were confined into segregated ghettos, called Chinatowns, (2, 299) The Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, particularly the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, finally ushered in a new era, the third period in Chinese American immigration history. ,299) The Chinese Americans were liberated from a structure of racial oppression. (2,299) Finally after these laws thousands of Chinese immigrated to America to reunite with their loved ones that they were separated from for many years. (2,299) In the 1970s there were two types of Chinese immigrants coming to the U. S. (2,299) About 250,000 of them are intellectuals that came to America such as scientists and engineers. (2,299)

The second group is made up of tens and thousands of Chinese who came to flee political instability. ,299) Others are ethnic Chinese from Vietnam and Cambodia who became impoverished refugees and boat people when Vietnam implemented its anti-Chinese or ethnic cleansing polices in 1978. (2,299) Economic development and racial exclusion defined the patterns of Chinese American settlement. (2,299) Before the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the patterns of Chinese settlement followed the patterns of economic development of the western states. (2,299)

Since mining and railway construction dominated the western economy, Chinese immigrants settled mostly in California and states west of the Rocky Mountains. ,299) As these industries declined and ant-Chinese feelings intensified, the Chinese retreated and sometimes were forced by mainstream society into small import-export businesses and labor-intensive manufacturing and service industries in such rising cities as San Francisco, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and sometimes in the Deep South. (2,300)

By Early twentieth century, 0ver 80 percent of the Chinese population was in Chinatowns in major cities in the United States. (2,300) The Chinatowns remained isolated and ignored until after WWII when America became more racially open and tolerant to society. ,300) It was now that Emigration from the Chinatowns began. (2,300)

From interaction under ghetto confinement, to the rise of a suburban Chinese American middle class, to the revitalization of historic Chinatowns, American communities across the United States have become more diverse, dynamic. For many, immigration to the United States during the late 19th to early 20th century would be a new beginning to a prosperous life. However there were many acts and laws past to limit the influx of immigrants, do to prejudice, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Later on into the 20th century there would be laws repealing the older immigration laws and acts making it possible for many more foreigners to immigrate to the United States. To become a citizen today one must go through a whole process of tests and trials and that is only if the applicant meets all of the requirements first. Charles B. Wang, an immigrant from China has made himself a multibillion-dollar fortune in the computer industry through his hard work and innovative ideas. The Chinese Americans who originally faced extreme racism on the west cost are spread across the nation today and most have kept their culture.

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