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Direct Impacts of Federal and State Laws on the Immigration Experiences of Asian Immigrants to the Us

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Direct Impacts of Federal and State Laws on the Immigration Experiences of Asian Immigrants to the US

The United States of America has maintained a complex and strong history that displays a country that is ever developing, a nation founded on the principles of the pursuit for happiness, liberty, and life, as well as a country that bases its operations on equality under the law and is viewed as a land of opportunity for people from all walks of life. For many years now, the immigration policies of the United States have been given a strong focus in political debates because many policy makers take into consideration the need to sustain worldwide competitiveness by increasingly drawing the best talent from foreign countries in opposition to controlling illegal immigration and, thus protect the borders of the country. The United States enacted various state and federal laws that had led to restriction on immigration, hostility against Asian immigrants in the country, heavy taxation, and challenges in land ownership.

Impact of Federal Regulations on Chinese and Japanese Immigrants

Before the mid-1960s, the rules of the National Origins System regulated immigration into the United States. During the 1850s, workers from China started migrating into the United States to provide labor in factories, agricultural establishments, and goldmines. Immigrants from China were mainly helpful in road construction in the western part of America while others ventured in entrepreneurship.  However, as the number of Chinese workers increased it also led to the growth of negative sentiments about the Chinese among other people who worked in the American economy (U.S. Department of State). In the 1870s, a serious unemployment challenge was experienced as a result of an economic recession and triggered more uproars against immigrants of the Asian descent. Racist leaders of labor unions used their positions to suppress the Chinese by labeling them as people who have no morals and blaming them for the lack of jobs and the reduced wages. This is what led to the enactment of a legislation that was meant to reduce the immigration of Asians such as the Chinese and Japanese to the United States in the future (U.S. Department of State).

The United States Congress endorsed the first immigration law that was highly restrictive. The apprehension that was triggered due to concerns about the security of the nation as a whole during the First World War motivated Congress to authorize the legislation and was comprised of various significant features that enabled the development of the 1924 Act. The National Origins Systems was introduced in 1924, signifying the initial wide-ranging set of regulations on immigration and was successful in reducing immigration of people from Asia to lower levels (U.S. Department of State). These limitations on the immigration of people of the Asian descent were synonymous with the general cultural and political environment during that period of time since it accommodated and also encouraged xenophobia and nativism.

The Act was enacted as a test of literacy that obligated immigrants who were older than sixteen years to showcase the ability to read and understand any language. It equally meant that officials in charge of immigration could favor their preferences when making decisions about the people that should be excluded and also increased the taxes paid by new immigrants upon arrival. Additionally, the Act restricted the entry of people who originate from any geographic area that is considered an "Asiatic Barred Zone".  China was among the countries listed as part of the “Asiatic Barred Zone"; however, Chinese immigrants had at that time been deprived of visas for immigration under the Chinese Exclusion Act. This step led to the disruption of the good diplomatic relations between China and the United States (U.S. Department of State)

On the other hand, immigrants from Japan started moving to the United States to look for prosperity and peace since they believed that they are leaving a motherland that is unstable to go and work hard so that they could ensure that their children and families had better living conditions. For many years, Japan had retained a formal policy that isolated the country from Europe and regions that were associated with the continent and there was a strict control on emigration. However, the need to migrate among Japanese immigrants was initially triggered when gunships were sailed into the Tokyo harbor in 1853 by Commodore Matthew Perry who was in the United States Navy. This trip to the Tokyo harbor obliged Japan as a nation to allow trade relations with the United States, and as a result, offering Japanese citizens an exceptional look into a foreign culture (Library of Congress). Japan went through a remarkable social transformation in the subsequent years and most people believed that Japanese citizens who lived in the United States represented a way of life that was desired as well as military might. In the year 1868, after the Meiji Restoration, there was an extensive agricultural decline and social disruption that was caused by high levels of industrialization and urbanization. This made many farmers be evicted from their lands and laborers were left unemployed due to competition from foreigners; therefore, they started looking for improved living conditions in foreign nations (Library of Congress). The reducing wages earned by the Japanese made it hard for them to fight the need to move into the economy of the United States that was flourishing. Nevertheless, before the first batch of immigrants were able to get rewards for their hard work, they were forced to endure continuous legislative restrictions, devastating working conditions, and the hostility of neighbors which disturbed their peace in the nation (Library of Congress)

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