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Today in legal history...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Chinese Exclusion Act barred Chinese laborers from US
Andrew Morgan at 8:11 AM ET

On May 6, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese laborers from entering the United States and prohibiting courts from bestowing US citizenship on Chinese.

Connecticut Senator Joseph Hawley spoke out against the Act in these words:

Let the proposed statue be read 100 years hence, dug out of the dust of ages and forgotten as it will be except for a line of sneer by some historian, and ask the young man not well read in the history of this country what was the reason for excluding these men and he would not be able to find it in the law.
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and its successors were abolished in 1943 at the insistence of President Franklin Roosevelt.

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