World War II: Opened American Society to Receive Immigrants

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Following decades of isolationist policy, World War II was an essential time in the United States history because it gradually opened up American society to once again receive immigrants who are in search of better opportunity and refuge. In the early 19th century, the United States began to re-think about its stance on immigration. As the numbers of immigrants increased, questions about the leniency of the American government on immigration were raised by the “Progressive Movement”. Consequently, the United States began to employ a closed door policy of immigration. Chinese male immigrants, who had been coming in masses, inspired the implementation of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which forbade further immigration of laborers of Chinese descent. This act forced prohibited Chinese males from bring over their families and destroyed possibilities of citizenship for Chinese immigrants by making them permanent aliens. Furthermore, in 1907, adding to the isolationist stance of the U.S., the city of San Francisco attempted to remove Japanese students from white schools and put them in segregated schools with Chinese students. The Japanese government was infuriated by with this comparison to the Chinese; this led to the establishment of the Gentleman’s Agreement. This was an informal agreement stating that the Japanese government would restrict further immigration of their people to the United States and, in return, Japanese children in San Francisco would be able to attend school with white children. Over the next half century, further restrictions on immigration were implemented, many based on racist assumptions that immigrants were inassimilable and could not be Americanized. However, we see examples in Nisei Daughter, where the children like Monica and her siblings became Americanized and came to detest the strict Japanese culture their parents were raised in. this contradicts the assumption that immigrants would not assimilate. Continued pressure to limit...
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