Ethnic studies: chinese exclusion act

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OBJECTIVE #1: Students will be able to infer and make generalizations and conclusions regarding laws that affected the Chinese.
OBJECTIVE #2: Students will be able to use supporting details to find and explain the main idea of passages.

  • Meaning of Words (basic definitions)

  • Supporting Details (context clues and basic facts)

  • Sequence (cause-effect relationship)

  • Main Ideas (purpose of passage)

  • Generalizations and Conclusions (inference or educated guess)

DIRECTIONS: Analyze the political cartoon below and make 3 inferences (educated guesses).

Inference #1:

Inference #2:

Inference #3:

(Meaning of Words) Vocabulary Support

  • immigration—to travel to another country not of your origin

  • moratorium—to halt or stop

  • deport (deportation)—exiled or sent out of a country

  • quota—allowance

  • naturalization—granted citizenship to another country after a process

  • asylum—safe haven or place of safety

  • visas—passports to enter another country

DIRECTIONS: Carefully read the passage; underline (highlight) supporting details (context clues) that will help you answer the questions correctly.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was approved on May 6, 1882. It was the first significant law restricting “immigration” into the United States.

In the spring of 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. This act provided an absolute 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic working group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities.
The Chinese Exclusion Act required the few non-laborers who sought entry to obtain certification from the Chinese government that they were qualified to immigrate. But this group found it increasingly difficult to prove that they were not laborers because the 1882 Act defined “excludable” as “skilled and unskilled laborers and many Chinese were employed in mining.” Thus very few Chinese could enter the country under the 1882 law.
The 1882 exclusion act also placed new requirements on Chinese who had already entered the country. If they left the United States, they had to obtain certifications to re-enter. Congress, moreover, refused State and Federal courts the right to grant citizenship to Chinese resident aliens, although these courts could still deport them.
When the exclusion act expired in 1892, Congress extended it for 10 years in the form of the Geary Act. This extension, made permanent in 1902, added restrictions by requiring each Chinese resident to register and obtain a certificate of residence. Without a certificate, she or he faced deportation. The Geary Act regulated Chinese immigration until the 1920s. With increased postwar immigration, Congress adopted new means for regulation: quotas and requirements pertaining to national origin. By this time, anti-Chinese agitation had quieted.
In 1943 Congress repealed all the exclusion acts, leaving a yearly limit of 105 Chinese and gave foreign-born Chinese the right to seek naturalization. The so-called national origin system, with various modifications, lasted until Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1965. Effective July 1, 1968, a limit of 170,000 immigrants from outside the Western Hemisphere could enter the United States, with a maximum of 20,000 from any one country. Skill and the need for political asylum determined admission.
The Immigration Act of 1990 provided the most comprehensive change in legal immigration since 1965. The act established a “flexible” worldwide cap on family-based, employment-based, and diversity immigrant visas. The act further provides that visas for any single foreign state in these categories may not exceed 7 percent of the total available.

  1. (Supporting Details) According to the passage, what year was the Chinese Exclusion Act initially passed by Congress?

  1. 105

  2. 1943

  3. 1990

  4. 1882


  1. (Supporting Details ) According to Line 19-28, what specific work skill made it difficult for Chinese to enter the U.S.?

  1. mining

  2. naturalization

  3. deportation

  4. unskilled as laborers

  1. (Sequence) According to the passage, what act immediately followed the Chinese Exclusion Act?

  1. The Chinese Exclusion Act

  2. Immigration Act of 1965

  3. The Geary Act

  4. National Origin System

  1. (Main Idea) The main purpose of the passage:

  1. Explains how the Chinese from their first arrival grew to dominate the U.S.

  2. Describes how for over 100 years the Chinese were limited in their ability to immigrate to the U.S.

  3. Compares all the laws that allowed over 170,000 Chinese to enter the U.S. on a yearly basis

  4. Shows that skilled laborers are more likely to be profitable than unskilled laborers

  1. (Generalization and Conclusion) It can be reasonably inferred that the Immigration Act of 1990:

  1. Is even harsher than the original immigration laws of 1882

  2. Completed the vision of President Chester A. Arthur

  3. Was more immigration friendly than the previous laws

  4. Even 20,000 Chinese entries per month was too much for the U.S. population


DIRECTIONS: Write out 3 full-sentences or more and describe what is happening in this political cartoon. (Hint: It regards the Chinese Exclusion Act…)


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