At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 / Edition 1

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Overview

With the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese laborers became the first group in American history to be excluded from the United States on the basis of their race and class. This landmark law changed the course of U.S. immigration history, but we know little about its consequences for the Chinese in America or for the United States as a nation of immigrants.

At America's Gates is the first book devoted entirely to both Chinese immigrants and the American immigration officials who sought to keep them out. Erika Lee explores how Chinese exclusion laws not only transformed Chinese American lives, immigration patterns, identities, and families but also recast the United States into a "gatekeeping nation." Immigrant identification, border enforcement, surveillance, and deportation policies were extended far beyond any controls that had existed in the United States before.

Drawing on a rich trove of historical sources--including recently released immigration records, oral histories, interviews, and letters--Lee brings alive the forgotten journeys, secrets, hardships, and triumphs of Chinese immigrants. Her timely book exposes the legacy of Chinese exclusion in current American immigration control and race relations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Makes a very significant contribution to both Asian American history and to U.S. immigration history. The amount of research that went into this book is prodigious. (Sucheng Chan, University of California, Santa Barbara)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807827758
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/19/2003
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Erika Lee is associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Closing the Gates 19
Ch. 1 The Chinese Are Coming. How Can We Stop Them? Chinese Exclusion and the Origins of American Gatekeeping 23
Ch. 2 The Keepers of the Gate: U.S. Immigration Officials and Chinese Exclusion 47
Pt. II At America's Gates 75
Ch. 3 Exclusion Acts: Race, Class, Gender, and Citizenship in the Enforcement of the Exclusion Laws 77
Ch. 4 One Hundred Kinds of Oppressive Laws: The Chinese Response to American Exclusion 111
Pt. III Cracks in the Gate 147
Ch. 5 Enforcing the Borders: Chinese Exclusion along the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican Borders 151
Ch. 6 The Crooked Path: Chinese Illegal Immigration and Its Consequences 189
Pt. IV The Consequences and Legacies of Exclusion 221
Ch. 7 In the Shadow of Exclusion: The Impact of Exclusion on the Chinese in America 223
Epilogue: Echoes of Exclusion in the Late Twentieth Century 245
Afterword: Following September 11, 2001 253
Notes 257
Bibliography 295
Acknowledgments 311
Index 315
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