Chinese American Transnationalism: The Flow of People, by Sucheng Chan

Specific Demographics

By Sucheng Chan

Chinese language American Transnationalism considers the numerous ways that chinese language dwelling within the usa throughout the exclusion period maintained ties with China via a relentless interchange of individuals and financial assets, in addition to political and cultural principles. This publication keeps the exploration of the exclusion period started in past volumes: access Denied, which examines the recommendations that chinese language american citizens used to protest, undermine, and sidestep the exclusion legislation; and Claiming the United States, which strains the advance of chinese language American ethnic identities. Taken jointly, the 3 volumes underscore the complexities of the chinese language immigrant adventure and the ways that its contexts replaced over the sixty-one 12 months interval.

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It became illegal in both China and the United States to participate in the exchange of goods, money, letters, and people. Exchanges of any sort became grounds for accusations of disloyalty and political heresy. Chinese in the United States, aided somewhat by ameliorating laws and attitudes, responded to these political pressures by focusing more on becoming Chinese Americans. Although some maintained illicit contacts with relatives and causes in China, most took advantage of newly available employment and residential opportunities in the United States to claim their right to make the United States their home.

At Lee’s request, Cameron even traveled to Angel Island to meet the family. In her letter, she asked that parole be granted for the wife and youngest child if the entire family could not be landed immediately. She also made an investigation herself into Lee’s status and reported to the immigration service, “I have made special inquiry and investigation to further assure myself that Mr. Lee Kan’s interests centered in the store . . I have been assured from reliable sources that he has been at all times engaged in the mercantile business.

1 A confluence of economic stagnation and crop failures in Guangdong Province and the well-advertised prospect of fast fortunes to be had in California led to this tremendous increase in the number of Chinese coming to America. Even after the surface gold quickly ran out, leaving deposits that could be extracted only by such capital-intensive methods as hydraulic and deep-shaft mining, other forms of lucre continued to draw Chinese to the land of opportunity to farm, fish, and engage in all kinds of labor to build the western regions of North America.

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