The Chinese Ethnic Group Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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Bullying and violence, as well as discriminatory laws and regulations, took their toll on those already here (Lee, 1998). In 1882 Congress halted the immigration of Chinese laborers with highly restrictive legislation remained in effect until 1943. By the turn of the century competition from Chinese had been eliminated in most jobs desired by whites. For example, in the 1890s Chinese farm workers in several parts of California were driven from fields and orchards by mobs (Allen, 1988, pg 178). Most Chinese in small towns through out the West packed up and moved, either back to China or to a large city such as San Francisco. The Chinese exclusion Act of 1882 was the first law to exclude a specific race from moving to the United States. This Law also prevented Chinese residents

from becoming U.S. citizens. Because of this law and the lack of wives along with people going back to China meant the United States for the first time had a decreasing ethnic group population. From a numerical high of 107,000 in 1890 the Chinese numbers fell to 62,000 between 1920 and 1940 (Lee, 1998). However, a few Chinese remained near the scattered work sites becoming market gardeners or opened laundries, stores or cafes. In Louisiana and Texas Chinese laborers were brought to work on cotton plantations. A few hundred Chinese who had built railroads in East Texas became sharecroppers and field hands on Brazos Valley cotton farms (Allen, 1988). In 1911 a labor force of 35,000 Chinese had been assembled in Mexico since they could work there but it wasn t long before harsh

labor conditions and anti-Chinese sentiment drove many north of the border over the next two decades (Allen, 1988, pg 179). Although many Chinese when conditions got harsh stayed on the west coast many found that there was less prejudice and discrimination in the Midwestern and eastern cities. Because of this the Chinese population in most western areas began to decline substantially between 1880 and 1940, but in the east it was going quickly. When they arrived at the desired city the Chinese had to settle in slum areas because of the low rent and became traders, laundrymen and restaurant owners. Immigration and Settlement After 1965 Immigration from China changed completely after 1965 because of two reasons: the passage of the new Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of

1965 and the end of the Vietnam War (Allen, 1988, pg 180). The passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments helped open the door for immigrants from China to United States. During the 1950 immigration from China and surrounding areas was about 15,000 people per year but in the 1960s the numbers jumped to 45,000 then to 160,000 in the 1970s and then a jump again to 274,000 in the 1980s (Allen, 1988). A large part of this new wave was in part from the ability for Chinese to sponsor family members still in China and bring them to the United States under the family reunification provisions of 1965 laws. 266,000 immigrants were admitted to the United States between October 1995 and September 1996 from the Asian area and of those 266,000, 65% were admitted under the family

reunification provisions (Allen, 1998). Another factor contributing to the new influx of immigrants were highly skilled professionals who came to the United States in search of jobs. Geographic Concentration And Population Growth The majority of Chinese and Asians in general live in the western United States, reflecting the destinations of the earliest Asian immigrates and the proximity of the western states to Asia. The Asian population is slowly spreading out in the U.S. In 1890 100% of all Asians lived on the west coast; by 1940 just less than 90% were still on the west coast (Lee, 1998). Asians make up less than 2% of the population in most states, which reflects the relatively small size as well as the geographic concentration of the Asian American population. In 1990 Asians

made up 2% or more of the population in just 12 states (Lee, 1998). Among the 12 states with at least 100,000 Asians, the percent Asian ranged from 48% of Hawaii s population and 9% of California s to about 1% of the population in Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. In 1996 Asians made up at least 2% of the populations in 29 States and at least 4% in another 7 states (Lee, 1998). The Chinese population here in 1980 was almost ten times its 1930 size, and 63% of the Chinese in America in 1980 had been born abroad (Allen, 1988). The immigrants have settled almost exclusively in metropolitan areas, especially the larger ones. This pattern, in combination with that of descendants of older immigrants resulted in a 1980 distribution that was 97% urban and 96% metropolitan. In 1980 the