by Winston Chua
The California State Senate unanimously passed resolutions to apologize for past state anti-Chinese legislation and requested U.S. Congressional adoption of resolutions of apology to the Chinese American community for enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
The 1882 Act was the only time U.S. federal law was passed to exclude immigration rights based solely on race. The Act tore many Chinese-American families apart and also prohibited voting and naturalization while encouraging discrimination against Chinese.
Although Congress and California has previously issued apologies to other minorities, the Chinese-Americans never received an apology from Congress nor from the California Legislature, even though the Chinese-Americans were similarly adversely affected.
Sophie C. Wong, former Alhambra Unified School Board President, told The Tribune that her husband’s grandfather was directly affected by the Exclusion Act. She said that evidence of anti-Chinese discrimination still exists in legislation today, as reflected in the recent passage of affirmative action bill SCA 5.
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