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Alien Land Laws of 1913 and 1920

On the other hand, the end of the war alliance between America and Japan, as well as the hostile reactions to the general strike, brought problems to Japanese immigrants. In the section on extraterrestrial land law in his thesis on Lewis Hart`s governorship, Douglas Pullen describes the social mood in 1919 as one of the great fears of foreign influence. Between the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the military advances of Imperial Japan, “American superpatriots” had sufficient ammunition to spread violence against “non-Americans,” a group that included “blacks, Jews, and other ethnic groups.” Washington State. In fact, in the same year as the uprising, a new law was passed by the territorial legislature that “denies the possession of land to foreigners who are not entitled to citizenship.” 9 It is important to note that while Washington`s territory was extremely isolated, its particular type of white supremacy did not develop in a vacuum. As early as 1870, anti-Chinese racial unrest erupted in Los Angeles and throughout California. The idea that some foreigners were not eligible for citizenship because of their race was widespread. The Immigration Act of 1790 prohibited Asians from naturalizing, and in 1875, Congress amended Section 2169 of the Revised U.S. Naturalization Statutes to explicitly state that citizenship is available only to foreigners [whites and free foreigners] of African birth and people of African descent.10 Thus, under no circumstances should Asian immigrants become U.S. citizens. The movement in Washington state was part of a broader national movement that has been underway for more than a decade to remove racist statues from state laws. In fact, Washington was one of the last states in the country with its alien laws still intact. The origin of the white racial movement for the Aliens Land Act, in California, was repealed by vote in 1956.53 The Oregon law was fought by a court battle and repealed in 1949 when it was found that the law violates “principles of law that protect against color-based classification, race and creed.” 54 Where in the text of the law does it prohibit the Japanese people from owning land? McMillan`s argument in the voters` pamphlet contained the same kind of calls for “American heritage” used by Miller Freeman`s Anti-Japanese League in the 1920s, but with no specific mention of race (much as conservatives today portray their white supremacist opposition to Mexican immigration). Regardless of his linguistic neutrality, hundreds of thousands of white washington state voters had to read McMillan`s appeal, “Protect your American heritage and preserve it for future generations,” and believe that he speaks for them.59 Anti-Chinese Uprising, Seattle, 1886.

Virulent anti-China racism was a significant factor in passing a provision that would increase ownership of foreign lands in the Washington State Constitution within a year. 1889. Image courtesy of the Wing Luke Museum and the UW Digital Collections This speech, delivered many times in Washington State, revolved around the dichotomy of Japan-American patriotism demonstrated by the war sacrifice of the five brothers amid the social and legal exclusion that the Aliens Act represented for the Japanese-American community. 28 U.S. House of Representatives, Japanese Immigration, Hearings before the Immigration and Naturalization Committee, Part 4, Hearings in Seattle and Tacoma, July-August 1920, (Washington, 1921), 1413-1425, de Pullen, 239 In other words, as long as there are legal sanctions of the type provided for in Section 33, they can serve as a model for discriminating against an American minority in another era of hysteria and hatred. No American can be sure of his civil rights as long as the legal justification for bigotry remains in the statutes.62 Aliens laws have not been promoted solely by racism. The issue of individual land ownership by non-whites has mingled with a plethora of opposition to foreign landowners and corporate investors. Thus, a merged ideology that romanticized the colonist, the tenacity of DIY and the fantasy of a utopia only for whites, the utopia that took hold connected the two themes. White supremacy also allowed European immigrants to reinvent themselves as privileged Americans by depriving themselves of their national identity, such as their Irish or German identity, and elevating them to a dominant social position.14The population`s hatred of the Chinese, to which this type of thinking led, not only led to laws prohibiting land ownership.

but finally to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. which further prohibited Chinese immigration at the national level.15 The most important way in which Japanese and other resident foreigners circumvented land laws was that a minor child with birth rights who possessed this land charter had citizenship. The House Bill of 1923 put an end to this practice by declaring that land belonging to a minor child must be held in trust for a foreigner (illegal under the 1921 Act).8D This highly restrictive alien land law remained in effect until its repeal in 1965.9 The sudden increase in Japanese immigration during that year and the following years spurred many anti-Japanese political and organizational movements in California; and the introduction of anti-Asian laws into the California legislature, all of which have influenced public sentiment. Many workers returning from World War I felt that the Japanese were affecting their employment opportunities. In addition, some feared that the Japanese would try to take white control of California`s farmland. The Los Angeles Times and groups such as the Anti-Asian Association were vocal instigators of the anti-Japanese movement. In 1907, pursuant to the Gentlemen`s Agreement, the United States and Japan agreed to limit Japanese migration to the United States, with Japan agreeing to stop issuing passports to people who intend to emigrate as workers who did not have a future permanent residence in the United States or who did not have family members already in the United States. [11] [7] [8] 40 Raymond Buell, “Some Legal Aspects of the Japanese Question,” Harvard University Press, by Charles McClain Ed., Japanese Immigrants and American Law (Garland Publishing, 1994), 39 Determined to see aliens laws repealed, the JACL Committee to Abolish Restrictions on Land Ownership quickly reorganized after the initial defeat and began planning for the 1962 election. A March 1962 letter to the committee`s supporters attributed the latest failure primarily to the fact that “state voters did not understand the reasons for this repeal measure,” a significant change from the previous analysis that widespread racism was the problem.60 This time, the repeal movement took an additional step in its campaign, writing letters to the European immigrant community at the various European consulates, especially Scandinavians, of the state, which stated: “It is certain that many of these Scandinavians, probably several thousand, bought their own house or other property in good faith, without realizing that they did so in technical violation of land law, and therefore, in all likelihood, an erroneous claim to their property. â 61 Section 1. All aliens who are entitled to citizenship under the laws of the United States may acquire, possess, enjoy, transfer and inherit real property or shares in that State of that State in the same manner and to the same extent as citizens of the United States, unless the laws of that State provide otherwise.

Significantly, the amendment to the Aliens Act of 1937-1941 was crushed by the efforts of Filipino activists. In De Cano v. In Washington State, the Court noted that the addition of individuals “who are not eligible for citizenship by the United States” included Filipinos. Under federal law, Filipinos were neither considered “foreigners” nor entitled to naturalization.46 In the 1940s, tens of thousands of immigrants from the Philippines lived in western Washington. As a politically active community, many Filipinos worked in unionized professions and knew exactly how important it was to fight for their rights. Just as Filipino cannery workers played a leading role in improving the working conditions of all Canarian workers, the De Cano case played an important role in disabling some of the foreign land laws for the benefit of all parties involved.47 Unfortunately, these glimmers of hope in state courts have been overshadowed by anti-Asian laws and lawsuits decided at the national.