In significant part in the West as one of

In the time of California Gold Rush, many people from different nations decided to join this new movement and job opportunity that can potentially grant them great fortune.  Chinese decided to take on this job opportunity as well then became a significant part in the West as one of the minorities.  As the competition of working in gold mine grew, the hatred intensified among competitors.  Chinese was the biggest victim of this hostility as their ethnic and racial qualities distinguished them from the majority in the United States: white.  The majority in the West believed Chinese threatened their job market.  The idea of eliminating Chinese came up naturally which encouraged Americans to form negative stereotypes on Chinese.  Ultimately, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was approved which restricted Chinese from working and entering the United States significantly.  On top of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Geary Act was approved to extend the act but also to threaten Chinese already residing in America. The Geary Act was passed on May 5, 1892.  The act required any Chinese to carry the certificate of residence at all times.  Consequences of failing to fulfill the demands were immense.  Chinese were either to face deportation or a year of physically demanding labor if they did not carry the certificate of residence.  Chinese lost the right to post bail and to file habeas corpus as well.  From these two acts combined, Chinese lost the basic rights to reside and work in the country and also lost the right to fight and defend themselves. The Geary Act was an extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the name of this act holds so much meaning already.  The law solely relied on racial and ethnic qualities to regulate immigration admission and exclusion.  In the original document of the Geary Act, the only qualities needed to be detected to arrest and file deportation is if one were to be Chinese or a Chinese descendant.  America was once an open country allowing many people from different nations to immigrate for collaboration to encounter better future.  However, these acts were enabled to prohibit specific nation and race from entering the United States and they were the first ones to do so.  The Geary Act helped producing “American” identity in a negative way unfortunately.  As the majority was white in America, any Europeans and even Latin Americans were considered white as it was more difficult from distinguishing them from each other.  Due to the general physical structure, skin tone, and the language barrier, Chinese were easily excluded from the majority and were always considered foreign and exotic.  I believe that the Geary Act relied on gender to regulate immigration admission and exclusion as it would have been more difficult for women.  Only physical labors were available at the time which would have been disadvantageous to Chinese women.  I believe it would have more difficult for women to acquire the certificate of residence as it required one to have an occupation and the fee to register was not inexpensive. The stereotypes built from the Geary Act still carries on today.  Chinese or Asians overall are regarded as exotic and hard working.  I often receive a question such as “where are you from?” and people mean to ask which Asian country I am from rather than which city in the United States.  I believe these encounters are the residue of the effect brought by the act enforced on Chinese.  Although it is in the process, I hope that American identity does not have to be bounded by how you look eventually.


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