Essay On Asian Exclusion

812 Words4 Pages
Erika Lee’s “The ‘Yellow Peril’ and Asian Exclusion in the Americas” goes in depth on the topic of Asian exclusion in the early 1900s. As previously discussed in last week’s presentation, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was the first antiracial law. What we did not discuss was that it was the law that set the trend for anti-racial laws against Asians in other countries as well. According to Lee, Chinese, Japanese and South Asians were among the largest groups of Asians to migrate to and throughout the Americas in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Lee, 2). We first read about the Asians immigrating to the western states before WWII. What we did not go into was their immigration into other countries such as Mexico, Canada and Brazil. Before WWII, Japanese settled in Latin America. During the war, 33% of the Chinese lived in Latin America and the Caribbean, 46% in the United States, and 21% in Canada (Lee, 4). After the 1882 exclusion act, Chinese began to migrate to Canada and Mexico and crossed the border into United States illegally. In Latin America, Brazil and Peru followed in the anti-immigration footsteps of the United States and established their own anti-immigration laws in 1926 and again in 1934 which forced the Asian populations to go from Brazil to Paraguay and Argentina, from Peru to Bolivia. The total exclusion of Asians under the United States immigration act of 1924 prompted similar policies in Canada, Brazil and Peru in the 1920s and 1930s. Lee dubbed these movements the Domino effect of immigration since they kept moving from country to country, being chased out by discrimination and anti-racial laws (Lee, 20). Meanwhile, the anti-Asian movement in Mexico was “shaped by the Mexican revolution that led to... ... middle of paper ... ...aced the Japanese in camps, discriminated the Chinese and placed anti-Asian laws to stop their immigration into this country, as well as the segregation against blacks just a few decades ago. In recent years, we have seen laws in states limiting Latino rights as well and gay rights. There will always be restrictions placed upon new faces, as there have always been. What this article reinforces is that we are no different to those of the past. History is doomed to always repeat itself, and restrict that which is different. We always hear of our country being a melting pot and multicultural. But what we do not always hear about in classrooms is the hardships people must go through in order to be included and rise above the discrimination. This type of article would serve well as an opener for discussions about tolerance, transnationalism and acceptance of all cultures.
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