America apologizes for the Chinese Exclusion Laws

Up until now, the American government has apologized for the forced syphilis testing on Guatemalans as well as the unjust treatment of Native Americans but now another apology can be added to the list that holds great significance not only for the API community but for the altering role of a multicultural America.

Senate Resolution 201 was passed October 10 addressing the Chinese Exclusion laws.  OCA, a national non-profit organization that stands for the API community stated,

“The Senate’s unanimous support of Resolution 201 represents a victory, not only for our community, but all groups that may have suffered in the past as a result of exclusionary policies. This reaffirms the beliefs of so many immigrants that we are a nation built on diversity, inclusion, and opportunity,” said OCA National President Ken Lee.

The Chinese Exclusion Laws were a series of legislative acts that explicitly discriminated against Chinese laborers and were later expanded to all persons of Chinese descent.  They were the first to restrict a group of immigrants based on race and class. The laws were later repealed in 1943 without any formal apology.

“The Chinese Exclusion Act had a profound effect on Asian Americans affecting many aspects of our society for nearly sixty years. It is a time in our history that America tried to forget but that we, as a community, have fought to have remembered. This is a great win toward that effort,” said OCA Interim Executive Director, Tom Hayashi.


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