Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Since the 1880’s, the United States has enacted policies which painted immigrants as invaders. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers from migrating to the United States in response to the increasing number of Chinese immigrants traveling to the U.S. for work. This discrimination against Chinese people later extended to all of Asian decent, as well as “illiterates, prostitutes, criminals, contract laborers, unaccompanied children, idiots, epileptics, the insane, the disease, the defective, alcoholics, beggars, polygamists, anarchists and more.” During this time period, nationalist lobbyists attempted to have Mexican included in the list of prohibited nationalities but was unsuccessful due to Texas’ and California’s dependence on Mexican laborers.
Chinese Exclusion Act Poster by Democratic County Central Committee