OCA Chapters Nationwide Observe 135th Anniversary of
Chinese Exclusion Act
|OCA - Wisconsin and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett at the signing
ceremony for a proclamation observing the anniversary of the Chinese
May 6, WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the nation kicks
off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, OCA -
Asian Pacific American Advocates and its
chapters recognized the 135th anniversary of the
Chinese Exclusion Act by supporting Day of
Inclusion efforts nationwide.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law
by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882.
This was the only law in American history to
specifically exclude an ethnic group from
entering the United States, as a result of
decades of anti-Chinese sentiment where
Chinese were blamed for unemployment and
crime, the law also prohibited Chinese
immigrants and their descendants from
obtaining citizenship. This law remained in effect
for over 60 years until it was finally overturned in
1943, and remains among the most shameful
episodes in our nation's history. In 2012, a
bipartisan Congressional Resolution formally expressed regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act.
In observance of this anniversary, OCA chapters around the country led efforts to pass resolutions and proclamations
observing the anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act in their local cities and counties. Cities that issued a resolution or
proclamation include: Alameda, CA; Berkeley, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Milwaukee, WI; Pittsburgh, PA; Sacramento, CA (Below left
photo); and Seattle, WA. This accompanies other resolutions in San Francisco, CA and Los Angeles, CA.
"We are glad that our chapters have called upon
their elected officials to openly state that exclusion
was wrong then, and it is wrong now. As we
celebrate our numerous achievements in this
country, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
must continue to remain steadfast in speaking out
for inclusion of all members of our society,
regardless of religion or national origin. Let this day
be known as a Day of Inclusion, as a reminder that
we can never fall back to exclusion," said Vicki Shu,
Vice President of Public Affairs.
Organizers convened a Rally for Inclusion recently in Portsmouth Square in the San Francisco Chinatown. For more
information on the Rally for Inclusion in San Francisco, visit nomoreexclusion.org.