Chinese exclusion (10-18-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 18, 1943)

Background of news –
Chinese exclusion

By Bertram Benedict, editorial research reports

The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider on Wednesday the repeal of the various acts by which Chinese immigration is barred from the United States. The House Immigration Committee has reported favorably on the proposal, by vote of 8–4.

Various acts now bar Chinese immigrants from the United States. There is the legislation of 1902 which continues in effect indefinitely the earlier legislation which had time limits. The Act of 1892 renewed until 1902 the Act of 1882. This one prohibited naturalization of all Chinese and suspended immigration of Chinese laborers (extended in 1884 to all persons of Chinese descent) for 10 years.

Then there is the general Act of 1924, setting immigration quotas based on the racial stock of the United States as of 1890, which prohibited the immigration of all persons ineligible for naturalization. Finally, there is the Immigration Act of 1917, which drew a zone through Asia from which immigration is barred. The barred zone covers central and western China but not eastern China.

Quota would admit only 105

The Chinese are the only nationality thus barred by name. The Chinese resent this slur, pointing out that if they were not specifically excluded, the Act of 1924 would still allow a quota of only 105 Chinese immigrants annually.

On Oct. 12, President Roosevelt asked Congress to repeal the legislation specifically barring Chinese. He asked at the same time that Chinese nationals already in the United States be made eligible for citizenship.

President Roosevelt did not ask Congress to repeal the legislation which bars other Orientals than Chinese. Many experts on the Far East claim that lowering the immigration bars to Chinese alone would not be enough. These experts insist that the entire Far East resents the assumption of white superiority, and that it is as important to have the good will and cooperation of Hindus, Burmese, Siamese, Javanese, and other brown races, as of the Chinese.

It is pointed out that if Eastern countries are allowed to come under the general immigration system of the 1924 Act, only the minimum of 100 can come in from each country concerned. The present discrimination against the yellow and brown races is being heavily stressed by Japanese propaganda.

Japs still excluded

The barred zone of the 1917 Act covers all of India, Burma, Indochina, Thailand, and practically all the islands sometimes called Oceania, as well as central and western China. It also covers the territory of the Soviet Union between the Caspian Sea and the western boundary of China, but excludes Iran and most of Arabia. The barred zone was drawn so as to exclude Japan.

The Japanese were excluded by the provision of the 1924 Act which barred immigrants ineligible to citizenship, for earlier acts opened citizenships only to white persons and those of African descent. The flat exclusion of Japanese by the 1924 Act was one factor embittering Japanese-American relations in the last two decades.

It remains to be seen whether President Roosevelt’s move to remove specific immigration restrictions from the Chinese will be followed by the British Commonwealth. Canada barred Chinese as such by an Act of 1923. Australia in 1930 barred natives of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands.


So… to bar japan they barred all of Oceania? This makes no sense.

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From a white supremacists point of view it makes perfect sense. Look at the history of the ‘Yellow Peril’ racist hysteria in the late 19th and early 20th USA and it’s echoes in the current anti-immigrant hysteria in the USA. The exclusion zone doesn’t make any logical sense because racism isn’t grounded in logic. This is stoking an irrational fear of ‘The Other’ (the group chosen as the other changes with time, but the methods remain) as political terrorism to manipulate the population.