Laws and Acts Essay

Submitted By petmuse65
Words: 574
Pages: 3

The Court System After the civil war, the Federal government took control over the issues of laws and regulations concerning citizenship and immigration which were previously left to the states. "With the passing of the Section 1 of the 14th amendment of the Constitution, this gave persons of African descent or nativity in addition to the "white persons" eligible the status of naturalized citizen since 1790" (Gjerde and Ngai Pg.180). Unfortunately, what was meant as freedom for the enslaved led the way to discriminatory laws, racist immigration policies and effected the treatment of the foreign born for the next century. (ibid) Those who suffered the worst from these policies and laws were the African Americans and, the Chinese. The passing of the 14th amendment giving freedom and citizenship to former slaves did not stop the states from enacting their own laws to keep the newly freed enslaved and degraded. From the 1880's until the 1960's many states imposed legal punishment for consorting with members of different races. Whites and Blacks were to be separated, from schools, hospitals, transportation, restaurants and, marriage between the two races banned. This is also when lynching became a prominent part of the South. (
These laws were in effect and their last remnants were finally ended by a series of federal laws and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When the Naturalization Act of 1870 was passed it was the beginning of the discrimination against the Chinese. The law limited naturalization to white persons and persons of African descent and denied the Chinese and other Asian groups citizenship rights. While the 14th Amendment, Sec 1 guaranteed citizenship to all persons born in the United States it took The Court Case of U.S v. Wong Kim to validate that it referred to the Chinese too. (Gjerde and Ngai Pg. 187) This was a big but small win when it came to the Chinese and citizenship. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which suspended the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years. This discriminatory Act required every Chinese person traveling in or out of the country, to carry a certificate identifying their status and once again their hope of ever becoming naturalized citizens. "In 1888, Congress took exclusion even further and passed the Scott Act, which made reentry to the United States after a visit to China impossible, even for long-term legal