Decitizenizing Asian Pacific American Women

41 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2022 Last revised: 15 Mar 2022

See all articles by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law

Margaret Hu

Penn State Law and School of International Affairs

Date Written: March 12, 2022

Abstract

The Page Act of 1875 excluded Asian women immigrants from entering the United States, presuming they were prostitutes. This presumption was tragically replicated in the 2021 Atlanta Massacre of six Asian and Asian American women, reinforcing the same harmful prejudices. This Article seeks to illuminate how the Atlanta Massacre is symbolic of larger forms of discrimination, including the harms of decitizenship. These harms include limited access to full citizenship rights due to legal barriers, restricted cultural and political power, and a lack of belonging. The Article concludes that these harms result from the structure of past and present immigration laws and enforcement policies that, though initially targeting Asian women, now result in discrimination more broadly against Asian Pacific American (APA) women. The marginalization of this community, and the degrading stereotypes integrated within this marginalization, are designed to decitizenize. This Article illustrates how decitizenizing processes that are uniquely aimed at APA women can lead to the justification and excusal of legal and social discrimination.

Keywords: immigration, Chinese exclusion, discrimination, citizenship

Suggested Citation

Wadhia, Shoba Sivaprasad and Hu, Margaret, Decitizenizing Asian Pacific American Women (March 12, 2022). University of Colorado Law Review, Forthcoming, Penn State Law Research Paper 2-2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4033737

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia (Contact Author)

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Margaret Hu

Penn State Law and School of International Affairs ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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