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The Good ImmigrantsHow the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority$
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Madeline Y. Hsu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164021

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164021.001.0001

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Gateways and Gates in American Immigration History

Gateways and Gates in American Immigration History

(p.1) Chapter 1 Gateways and Gates in American Immigration History
The Good Immigrants

Madeline Y. Hsu

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how Asian Americans have featured most prominently in U.S. history in the Gold Rush period—as workers on the transcontinental railroad, and as the innocent victims of incarceration during World War II. The impossibility of Asians becoming U.S. citizens was established early in America's history. Much of immigration studies scholarship has usefully focused on the goal of restriction—the targeting of certain populations as unwanted in the United States. By focusing on restriction, however, the scholarship has neglected the selective aspects of immigration laws, which not only erected gates barring entry to unwanted persons but also established gateways that permitted admission to peoples deemed assimilable but also strategic, as determined by a variety of revealing rationales.

Keywords:   Asian Americans, U.S. citizens, Gold Rush, immigration studies, restriction, immigration laws

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