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By Linda Thompson

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In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt arranged a Gentlemen’s Agreement with Japan, which gave the Japanese government the task of keeping its people out of the United States. They could still come by way of Mexico or Hawaii, but the prejudice in American cities made their lives difficult. In 1913 California passed the Alien Land Law. It said that because Chinese and Japanese people could not be citizens, neither could they own land. It was eventually unsuccessful because of Constitutional protections.

He found that a woman and four children had been kept for four months in a detention pen and had them immediately released. 29 Although there were interpreters, the rush to get thousands of people through in a day often left little time for translating. Immigrants spent between two and five hours on Ellis Agents who did Island waiting to be processed. not understand or could not pronounce people’s names wrote down whatever occurred to them. Sometimes days passed before a ship could unload its third-class passengers because of crowded conditions.

They came to work in the gold mines Today, San Francisco’s Chinatown and, in the 1860s, to build the is the largest community of Chinese people outside of Asia. transcontinental railroad. They lived in the Chinatowns of San Francisco and other cities. They worked as cooks and laundry men in the mining camps, domestic servants in the cities, and field workers. Many also worked in restaurants and grocery stores. About half of them returned to China. The Chinese immigrants received very harsh treatment at the hands of Americans.

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