Chinese Immigration to America – Angel Island

The Chinese first came to America in search of wealth during the California Gold Rush in the mid 1800s, but a new wave of Chinese immigrants arrived soon after for a better life in the United States in the early 1900s. Many “nativists” resented immigrants because they were willing to work for lower pay and believed they were stealing their jobs. Many immigration laws passed and stations were also established on both sides of the frontier—Ellis Island and Angel Island.

Angel Island is located in the San Francisco Bay in California. From 1910-1940, Asian immigrants (most of them Chinese) were detained and interrogated by U.S. officials before they could settle in America. Obscure questions were asked so most of them would be deported. Many of them, in fact, were sent back due to not having paternal relations to Chinese-American citizens. The length of time detained would take weeks, months, and even years before they would finally leave the detention center.

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