The Law on the page also prohibited foreign contract workers, but it could not prevent Chinese men from entering because they were not under contract. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 addressed this – prohibiting Chinese laborers from entering the United States and all Chinese immigrants from becoming naturalized. The exclusion laws codified the idea that the Chinese were racially unassimilable. They can never be anything other than a coolie race, controlled by despotic masters, without personality or individual will, not at all independent in thought or in action. The Supreme Court of the United States posed another theory on coolieism: that Chinese exclusion was necessary for national security. In Chae Chan Ping v. United States in 1889 the Court wrote:
Preserving its independence, and providing security against aggression and foreign encroachment, is the supreme duty of every nation … If, therefore, the government of the United States … considers the presence of aliens of another race in this countries, which will not assimilate with us, to be dangerous for its peace and security, their exclusion should not be suspended because at the time there was no real hostilities with the nation whose foreigners were topics. The existence of war would only make the need for the procedure more obvious and pressing.
Previously, federal immigration regulations were justified by the trade clause of the Constitution. In upholding the Chinese exclusion, the court invoked national security to justify racist legislation. But by the 1880s, it was not the Chinese but the racism they faced that proved dangerous to peace and security, leading to increased violence against Chinese communities. In 1885 alone, the entire Chinese population of Tacoma, Washington was violently evicted and 128 Chinese coal miners from Rock Springs, Wyoming, were massacred.
Chinese exclusion laws were later extended to people in the Philippines, India, and Japan (in fact, a “forbidden Asian zone” was created in 1917), grouping different groups of national origin into a single racial category. , Asians. “
Modern colonialism and world trade meant greater integration of the global economy and, with it, mass migration, sparking struggles over race and immigration policy throughout the English-speaking world. As Achick and Wa, Chinese merchants, pointed out in 1852, trade breeds migration, and vice versa. Thus, American policymakers built an “open door” to China that would swing one way, allowing American goods, missionaries, and capital to enter China while keeping the Chinese out of the United States. Despite all its talk about the equality of nations and the open door, the American approach was uniquely colonial, treating China as an object of commercial and missionary desire, but the Chinese as degraded and backward, undesirable as immigrants.