Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the Jim Crow Era: Chinese Exclusion and the McCreary Act of 1893
23 Asian American Law Journal 39 (2016)
31 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017
Date Written: June 14, 2016
This paper discusses the first immigration amnesty, the McCreary Act of 1893, which regularized the status of tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants to the United States. The Chinese migrants became deportable because they failed to register as required by the Geary Act, based on advice of counsel that the law, applicable on racial grounds, was unconstitutional. Nevertheless, in an era in which racial discrimination was more intense than it is now, and in which Congress had determined that Chinese immigration should end, Congress agreed to let those here remain, on conditions, rather than taking the opportunity to rid the country of Chinese.
Keywords: Immigration, Amnesty, Jim Crow, Chinese Exclusion
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