Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

Significant immigration of the Chinese to North America began during the Gold Rush 1848-1855 and continued during the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Although tolerated, the Chinese were seen as competitors for jobs and were blamed for depressed wages. Over time, an increasing number of Chinese migrants came to California. Animosity towards the Chinese resulted in violence often breaking out in cities such as Los Angeles. After several attempts were made to legislate the exclusion of the Chinese, President Chester A. Arthur signed into law on May 6 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act, a United States federal law that prohibits immigration of all Chinese laborers. Below is the full text of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.