Legal Chinese Discrimination in Sacramento


 

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The Story is the same, individuals immigrating to the United States with the hope of having a better life.

Immigrants from China were unique, unlike other groups where families immigrated to the United States most of the Chinese immigrants were single males.  They were considered cheap labor, because these workers didn’t utilize hospitals and schools.  Chinese workers were often sought out because they would work for less.   At one point in California, Chinese men represented nearly a quarter of all wage earners in the state.

Some people believed Chinese workers  were taking jobs from white people.  Starting in the mid 1880’s there were laws created to exclude Chinese immigrants.  Communities throughout the west created statutes designed to drive out Chinese immigrants.   In 1882, President Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, this law prevented  immigration of Chinese laborers.

Shortly after the law passed some citizens took matters into their own hand to drive out Chinese immigrants.  Hundreds of Chinese were killed throughout the west.   The goal was to intimidate the Chinese so that they would return to China. With the law intact, many employers illegally hired Chinese workers.

In Sacramento, mysterious fires were set in Chinatown to drive them away.  Local newspapers wrote stories suggesting the Chinese brought disease to Sacramento.  Sacramento’s Chinatown was located on I Street between 2nd to Sixth Street.  The city was mostly successful in dismantling  Chinatown.  The Railyard covers most of what was  Chinatown.

Chinese immigrants played a major role in developing the Western United States, from the Intercontinental Railroad to Sacramento Valley Levees.   The Exclusion Act was remained law until its repeal in 1943.

This was an ugly period in America.  Lets hope we’ve learned from it.

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

Published by CityFella

Moved to the Big Tomata in the nineties from San Francisco. No Suburbs for me with its single colored houses and lawns and the excitement of pulling out my trash can once a week. I'm a CityFella , a part time New Yorker. I'm happiest in the Center City where people the streets and people are alive. I'm still waiting to buy a 34th floor condo somewhere downtown/Midtown with a nightclub. "Hurry I'm old" My politics are somewhere in the middle with a needle that constantly moves. I'm too liberal to be a Republican and too conservative to be a Democrat. Everything interests me . I've come to love Sacratomato, Its a nice town in cheap sensible shoes .

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