At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943

At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943

by Erika Lee

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Overview

With the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese laborers became the first group in American history to be excluded from the United States on the basis of their race and class. This landmark law changed the course of U.S. immigration history, but we know little about its consequences for the Chinese in America or for the United States as a nation of immigrants.

At America's Gates is the first book devoted entirely to both Chinese immigrants and the American immigration officials who sought to keep them out. Erika Lee explores how Chinese exclusion laws not only transformed Chinese American lives, immigration patterns, identities, and families but also recast the United States into a "gatekeeping nation." Immigrant identification, border enforcement, surveillance, and deportation policies were extended far beyond any controls that had existed in the United States before.

Drawing on a rich trove of historical sources--including recently released immigration records, oral histories, interviews, and letters--Lee brings alive the forgotten journeys, secrets, hardships, and triumphs of Chinese immigrants. Her timely book exposes the legacy of Chinese exclusion in current American immigration control and race relations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807863138
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 01/21/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Erika Lee is associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A compelling, readable narrative.—Law and History Review



At America's Gates is a tour de force in Chinese immigration history. . . . Lee's work is comprehensive in its historical and archival research and progressive in its transnational discourse, which explores both the local and global dimensions of Chinese immigration and exclusion that is embedded in the critical language of ethnic studies. . . . Her book is accessible to a wide readership and written with literary grace and passion.—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

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