In the Land of the Free
Since the first wave of Chinese immigration to the United States in 1850s, the Chinese experienced discrimination and often overt racism. According to Holland, during 1870s, a large number of Chinese laborers flooded into American job market after the completion of transcontinental railroads. Since the Chinese laborers were willing to work for lower wages, they took jobs away from white workers which caused negative feeling toward Chinese. At the same time, the economic downturn and the increasing unemployment rate led to more heightened outcries against Chinese immigrants. Eventually, the United States government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a law that restricted the number of Chinese entering into America. (Holland 2007) Sui Sin Far, the first fiction writer of Asian descent, wrote an impressive story called “In the Land of the Free”, which portraits the harsh treatment a Chinese immigrant couple faced and the tremendous pain they suffered due to racism and discrimination upon entering the United States in the late 1800s. The story unfolded with a loving, caring and self-sacrificed Chinese young woman named Lae Choo, who was so excited about the reunion with her husband, Hom Hing, a legal Chinese merchant in the United States. Traced back to three years before, when Hom Hing learned his wife was pregnant, he decided to send Lae Choo back to their native country, China, so they would have their first baby, the little one, born there. They had been separated for three years since then, and this was the first time the little one would see his father. But misfortune fell upon this couple--upon entering the land of America, the little one was denied the entry to the U.S. The reason was that the little one was born in China and there was no paperwork to verify he was born to Lae Choo and Hom Hing. The little one was taken away by the US custom officers. The winter had passed, but the couple still couldn’t get...
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