On certificate of residence at all times. Failure

On May 5, 1892, the Geary Act written by California Representative Thomas J. Geary, was passed by the Supreme Court despite the opposition in the courts.  The Geary Act extended the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. On top of that, it required any Chinese or Chinese descendant to carry the certificate of residence at all times.  Failure of carrying the certificate of residence leads to a consequence of deportation or a year of physically demanding labor.  Chinese also lost the right to bail and to file habeas corpus from this act. The background to why this act was enabled overlaps with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  During the California Gold Rush, many Chinese immigrated to the West side of the United States and became one of the significant minorities.  They began laboring in the railroad and gold mine scenes, but as the competition and hostility from white and foreigners grew, Chinese were forced to move to San Francisco, where only the dirtiest and hardest work was available (Wu).  Americans in the West Coast stereotyped and regarded Chinese as degraded, exotic, dangerous, and competitors for their jobs and wages (Wu).  As Americans felt threatened with their job opportunities, they started to encourage the idea of restricting the number of Chinese entering the United States.  This idea started to build up and eventually led to the approval of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which prohibited Chinese laborers from working and entering for ten years.  It also denied Chinese from obtaining citizenship.  It is interesting that Americans regarded Chinese as dangerous and low, but Americans seemed to view them as rivals and competitors in their work field.  One of the consequences of not carrying the certificate of residence is physical labor for a year.  This shows that Americans admitted the level of hard work Chinese can put out and wanted to take advantage of it if it did not have to be compensated. The Geary Act was not only an extension to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  This act started to threaten the safety of Chinese already residing in America.  Compared to Europeans and Latin Americans, Chinese or Asians are easily distinguishable from being white.  This racial and also ethnic features amplified the severity of the situation.  The combination of these two acts did not lead to a complete exclusion of Chinese, but it integrated into people’s heads that Chinese is not part of America.  I believe that this is one of the turning points where the United States was no longer an open country, but an exclusive one.

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