Asian Immigration to the United States: The Japanese and Chinese Experience - USA Essay Example

Throughout the course of American immigration history, the experience of Asians, that is the Japanese and the Chinese, immigrating to the Unites States is fundamentally similar - Asian Immigration to the United States: The Japanese and Chinese Experience introduction. If a person would look into the mid up to the late 1800’s, both Chinese and Japanese immigrants have faced fundamentally similar dilemmas upon entering the Unites States. Both have entered into the country through Hawaii as low-income farmers (McClain, 1994). Both have been forced to come to the United States out of economic problems in China and Japan at that time. The former struggled to deal with the aftermath of the Opium Wars and the latter sacrificed agriculture in favour of industrialization (Steoff, 1994). Chinese and Japanese came to Hawaii as migrant workers in the Pineapple and Sugar plantations there earning an average of $1/day. Both races have also faced racial discrimination through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which bars the Chinese from getting work in America and the Jim Crow Laws of 1906 which segregates the Japanese schoolchildren from whites.

The similarity will continue on as a pull effect wherein Chinese and Japanese planning to go to the United States are persuaded by the thought that money in America grow on trees. Women are exploited as picture brides wherein they will be persuaded to go to the United States to marry Japanese workers who are demotivated from work. With the promise of a better quality of life, more and more immigrants entered the United States. By the 1920s, more than half of the population of Hawaii are from Asia (Takaki, 2000).

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There is also one instance wherein the Japanese and the Chinese experiences could be classified as fundamentally different. During the World War II, the Japanese-Americans were even detained in concentration camps as America enters into war with Japan and reclaims all Japanese properties amounting to $400 million (Takaki, 1995). This ended after the war with the United States government issuing an apology a vowed to “redress” treatment to Japanese-Americans. In 1989, former President George Bush signed a law stating to pay at least $20,000 to each of the survivors of the camps.

References:

McClain, C. J. (1994). Chinese immigrants and American law. New York: Garland Pub.

Steoff, R., & Takaki, R. T. (1994). Issei and Nisei : the settling of Japanese America. New York: Chelsea House.

Takaki, R. T., Stefoff, R., & Takaki, C. (1995). Democracy and race : Asian Americans and World War II. New York: Chelsea House.

Takaki, R. T. (2000). Double victory : a multicultural history of America in World War II (1st ed.). Boston: Little, Brown and Co.

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