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The Politics of U.S. Immigration Policy A case study of Japanese immigrants and interest groups Shamira M. Gelbman Dept. of Political Science Wabash College.

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Presentation on theme: "The Politics of U.S. Immigration Policy A case study of Japanese immigrants and interest groups Shamira M. Gelbman Dept. of Political Science Wabash College."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Politics of U.S. Immigration Policy A case study of Japanese immigrants and interest groups Shamira M. Gelbman Dept. of Political Science Wabash College Shamira M. Gelbman Dept. of Political Science Wabash College

2 PoliciesPolitics

3 Alien Land Laws San Francisco school segregation Immigration and Expatriation Acts of 1907 Cable Act of 1922 Immigration Act of 1924 Cable Act amendment/repeal 1930s Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 Immigration Act of 1965 Politics

4 The Japanese Immigrant Population Demographics – Relatively small population – Concentrated (sort of) in the West – Predominantly male, working age Legal status – Issei were “aliens ineligible to citizenship” Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1870 – Nisei were natural-born U.S. citizens 14 th Amendment (1868)

5 San Francisco,

6 Chicago Tribune, 10/9/1920

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11 1906

12 The Japanese Immigrant Population Demographics – Relatively small population – Concentrated (sort of) in the West – Predominantly male, working age Legal status – Issei were “aliens ineligible to citizenship” Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1870 – Nisei were natural-born U.S. citizens 14 th Amendment (1868)

13 Immigrant Occupations, 1906 “People or race”JapaneseSouth Italian JewishPolishGerman Professional Skilled Farmers Farm Laborers Laborers Merchants Servants TOTAL

14 Immigrant Age Categories, 1906 “Race or People”Under and Older Japanese1%97%1% South Italians11%84%4% Jewish28%66%5% Polish9%88%2% German15%78%6%

15 The Japanese Immigrant Population Demographics – Relatively small population – Concentrated (sort of) in the West – Predominantly male, working age Legal status – Issei were “aliens ineligible to citizenship” Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1870 – Nisei were natural-born U.S. citizens 14 th Amendment (1868)

16 Small Comfort Nisei were few, young, busy Public perceptions, self-efficacy – “remember you are Americans, that you must be recognized as Americans. Go out and tell everybody who will listen” (Dr. Thomas T. Yatabe) Issei-Nisei rivalry Opposition organized first, better – American Federation of Labor, American Legion – Asiatic Exclusion League, Japanese Exclusion League of CA

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18 Small Comfort Nisei were few, young, busy Public perceptions, self-efficacy “remember you are Americans, that you must be recognized as Americans. Go out and tell everybody who will listen” (Dr. Thomas T. Yatabe, 1928) Issei-Nisei disagreement, rivalry Opposition organized first, better – American Federation of Labor, American Legion – Asiatic Exclusion League, Japanese Exclusion League of CA

19 Which groups testified in congressional committee hearings? Dec Feb HCIN – American Legion – American Federation of Labor – Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers – Armenia American Society – International Seamen’s Union of America – Japanese Exclusion League of California

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21 JAA and JACL

22 Next Steps Impact of prewar Japanese-American lobby – Cable Act vs. everything else – JACL role in WWII internment Pre and postwar relations with other organizations – Other immigrant groups – In coalitions for other causes – Former adversaries


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