Archives of the West from 1877-1887
Documents on Anti-Chinese Immigration Policy
I. Chinese Exclusion Treaty, 1880
II. Chinese Exclusion Act, 882
Treaty Regulating Immigration from China
November 17, 1880
(Malloy, ed. Treaties, Conventions, etc. Vol. I, p.
. . . Whereas the Government of the United States, because of the
constantly increasing immigration of Chinese laborers to the
territory of the United States, and the embarrassments consequent
upon such immigration, now desires to negotiate a modification of the
existing Treaties which shall not be in direct contravention of their
spirit: . . .
ART. I. Whenever in the opinion of the Government of the United
States, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States, or their
residence therein, affects or threatens to affect the interests of
that country, or to endanger the good order of the said country or of
any locality within the territory thereof, the Government of China
agrees that the Government of the United States may regulate, limit,
or suspend such coming or residence, buy may not absolutely prohibit
it. The limitation or suspension shall be reasonable and shall apply
only to Chinese who may go to the United States as laborers, other
classes not being included in the limitations. Legislation taken in
regard to Chinese laborers will be of such a character only as is
necessary to enforce the regulation, limitation or suspension of
immigration, and immigrants shall not be subject to personal
maltreatment or abuse.
ART. II. Chinese subjects, whether proceeding to the United States
as teachers, students, merchants, or from curiosity, together with
their body and household servants, and Chinese laborers who are now
in the United States, shall be allowed to go and come of their own
free will and accord, and shall be accorded all the rights,
privileges, immunities and exemptions which are accorded to the
citizens and subjects of the most favored nation.
ART. III. If Chinese laborers, or Chinese of any other class, now
either permanently or temporarily residing in the territory of the
United States, meet with ill treatment at the hands of nay other
persons, the Government of the United States will exert all its power
to devise measures for their protection and to secure to them the
same rights, privileges, immunities and exemptions as may be enjoyed
by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation, and to which
they are entitled by treaty . . .
Chinese Exclusion Act
May 6, 1882
(U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. XXII, p. 58 ff.)
An act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese.
WHEREAS, in the opinion of the Government of the United States the
coming of Chinese laborers to this country endangers the good order
of certain localities within the territory thereof: Therefore,
Be it enacted, That from and after the expiration of ninety days
next after the passage of this act, and until the expiration of ten
years next after the passage of this act, the coming of Chinese
laborers to the Untied States be, . . . suspended; and during such
suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come,
or, having so come after the expiration of said ninety days, to
remain within the United States.
SEC. 2. That the master of any vessel who shall knowingly bring
within the United States on such vessel, and land or permit to be
landed, any Chinese laborer, from any foreign port or place, shall be
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be
punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each and
every such Chinese laborer so brought, and may be also imprisoned for
a term not exceeding one year.
SEC. 3. That the two foregoing sections shall not apply to Chinese
laborers who were in the United States on the seventeenth day of
November, eighteen hundred and eighty, or who shall have come into
the same before the expiration of ninety days next after the passage
of this act, . . .
SEC. 6. That in order to the faithful execution of articles one
and two of the treaty in this act before mentioned, every Chinese
person other than a laborer who may be entitled by said treaty and
this act to come within the United States, and who shall be about to
come to the United States, shall be identified as so entitled by the
Chinese Government in each case, such identity to be evidenced by a
certificate issued under the authority of said government, which
certificate shall be in the English language or (if not in the
English language) accompanied by a translation into English, stating
such right to come, and which certificate shall state the name,
title, or official rank, if any, the age, height, and all physical
peculiarities former and present occupation or profession and place
of residence in China of the person to whom the certificate is issued
and that such person is entitled conformably to the treaty in this
act mentioned to come within the Untied States. . . .
SEC. 12. That no Chinese person shall be permitted to enter the
United States by land without producing to the proper office of
customs the certificate in this act required of Chinese persons
seeking to land from a vessel. Any any Chinese person found
unlawfully within the United States shall be caused to be removed
therefrom to the country from whence he came, by direction of the
President of the United States, and at the cost of the United States,
after being brought before some justice, judge, or commissioner of a
court of the United States and found to be one not lawfully entitled
to be or remain in the United States.
SEC. 13. That this act shall not apply to diplomatic and other
officers of the Chinese Government traveling upon the business of
that government, whose credentials shall be taken as equivalent to
the certificate in this act mentioned, and shall exempt them and
their body and household servants from the provisions of this act as
to other Chinese persons.
SEC. 14. That hereafter no State court or court of the United
States shall admit Chinese to citizenship; and all laws in conflict
with this act are hereby repealed.
SEC. 15. That the words "Chinese laborers," whenever used in this
act, shall be construed to mean both skilled and unskilled laborers
and Chinese employed in mining.