The Chinese immigration to the United States was very common in the 19th century. The Chinese mainly migrated into the United States to search for labor in the construction industry because the company needed inexpensive labor. Their increase in numbers in the United States made the government to lay down a policy that would restrict their entry. The law that was set restricted the Chinese from entry into the country but it permitted those who were already in the country to remain and they could go to their country’s and then back to US but they were not allowed naturalization. The law was very harsh on the Chinese because it also required them to acquire certificates allowing them to be legally in the United States and those who did not adhere to that were either imported back to their countries while others were imprisoned. Other offices were opened to listen to the criminal cases of the Chinese who were believed to live in America illegally.
After the Second World War, the Chinese immigration to the US was allowed as they became allies during the war. Since 1965, the population of the Chinese in America began to increase and they currently constitute major part of the United States with their population increasing greatly and they currently have the right to own property because they are recognized as citizens. On the other hand, there are so many illegal immigrants from china in the United States and the families have grown to be citizens of the while the heads are illegal immigrants.
Impacts of Chinese immigration of America
The Chinese were greatly mistreated in America because they were forced to pay exorbitant rate of taxes which was 20 dollars per month. Other laws were set that banned them from carrying both laundry and vegetables on a pole and the males were also restricted form putting on long braids and it was part of their customs. So many laws like not educating their children in the public schools were also set as well as restrictions on the Chinese working fort the local
ands state governments. The Chinese suffered a great deal at the hands of the American because they were also not allowed to testify against the Americans in court (Chang 2003 pg 34).
The Chinese were not allowed to work in the government offices as a result of discrimination. The laws that were set during this period discriminated against the Chinese because they were not allowed into the country for ten years and those who were already in the country were really discriminated against. They were given tough jobs transcontinental rail road and they were paid very little for the work that they did. Due to this law the Chinese who were in the country were also denied reuniting with their families back in china and those who were not married were not allowed to marry the whites. The Chinese were denied the right to be citizens and also naturalization and they could therefore not own anything in the country including land.
Some of the problems that illegal Chinese immigrants face even to date are lack of American citizenship. Any illegal Chinese immigrant in the United States does not acquire citizenship they remain as foreigners but incase a children who are born during their stay become automatic citizens of the country while their parents are still foreigners. This is the reason why there are so many families in the United States whereby the children are citizens and the parents are not American citizens (Meng 1981 pg 25).
In the job sectors, illegal immigrants earn less income than the legal migrants and the American natives. This may not really affect them at the beginning because they tend to earn more than what they earn in their countries of residence. After some time they realize the unwelcoming and discrimination that they face and some prefer to return to their countries after sometime while others choose to stay and endure the discriminations (Louie 2004 pg 127).
Illegal immigrations benefit the immigrants as well as the employers because the employers pay them less income while the illegal immigrants receive more than they would receive in their countries of residence.
The Chinese country benefits from the illegal immigrants through the remittances that they send to their families and this is a source of income for the government (Chen 2002 pg 130). This in some cases earns the government more income than any other source of income that the government relies on. On the other hand, the American government suffers losses because these remittances are transferred from their country to other countries like china.
The illegal immigrants have attracted other more illegal immigrants into the country by creating networks for other illegal immigrants. The illegal immigrants come into the country as a way of visiting their families who are also illegally in the country and this in some way has contributed to the population increase of Chinese in America and it has led to the formation of large communities of illegal immigrants in to the country (Viking 2003 pg 71).
Other problems that the United States government has faced as the number of Chinese illegal immigrants increases are the rise of crime rates. There are not enough employment opportunities for such immigrants and they at times end up in crime so that they could earn their livelihood leading to increase in crimes in the country and some places become unsafe especially at night. The increase in the level of crime poses a threat to the economy. As crime increases, the criminals may engage in other activities like smuggling which affects the economies of such countries greatly. The increase in the crime rate means extra expense by the government as they try to maintain order in the country’s borders and to prevent and control illegal entry. Many resources are still being spent by the United States government who have militaries guarding the borders so as to prevent illegal entry or any criminals who might come into the country. These military armies also ensure that law and order is maintained in the country and this means extra expense by the American government (Mea 2004 pg 102). The Chinese have committed other crimes of identity in order to obtain documents and they also participate in smuggling which includes drugs and smuggling other Chinese from their countries in to the United States. The Chinese women were also trafficked in to the United States and they were forced into crimes such as prostitution.
The increase in population also causes problems and pressure in the public schools. The public schools suffer most from the effects of illegal immigration mainly by overcrowding of pupils and students in these schools. They are mainly affected because they are affordable by the illegal immigrants while the private schools are not affordable because they charge more compared to the income that they earn. The overcrowding of schools at times may cost the government greatly as the need for employing more teachers’ rises. The employment of extra teachers means more expenditure to the government. In cases where more teachers are not employed, students and pupils suffer because the ratio of students to the teachers is very high and hence they are not efficient in meeting the needs of their students. The cost of educating the illegal student’s immigrants by 2004 had risen to 29.6 billion dollars (Miscevic 2005 pg 45). This is an indication that it is very expensive to educate illegal immigrants in the united states of both the Chinese and other countries illegal immigrants.
There are other organizations that are formed in the United States and they are called ‘no more deaths’. These organizations work for the well being of both the legal and illegal immigrants. They provide such basic needs like food, water and other aids like the medical care for the well being of thee people. They use government resources to fund such organizations and this means extra expenses by the government.
The government of the United States has also spent a lot of resources in terms of money in the process of trying to identify the real illegal immigrants. In some cases there were proposals of deporting the illegal immigrants to their country of origin but the cost was so high for the government and they ended up not deporting them but the debate on their deport is still on with the current president Obama. The Chinese stay in the United States still means extra expense by the government because they have still to meet some of their needs like the medical needs. More resources are also being used to prevent illegal entry into the country but it is still on especially for the Chinese who have connections in the United States through families or other relatives who entered earlier (Miscevic 2000 pg 111).
It is also very expensive for the US government to detain the Chinese illegal immigrants because of the cost of detaining them in the prisons as well as the limited capacity in those prisons (Mark 2004 pg 97). Those illegal criminals who are caught committing crimes are
usually charged with the federal statutes otherwise they are sent to the federal prisons and in this process they could be deported back to their country of origin and in this case, the Chinese could be deported back to china.
The Chinese constitute the greatest population in America today and this consists of both the legal and illegal immigrants. The presence of illegal immigrants has therefore costed the government of the United States a lot of resources as a way of ensuring their well being in terms of food, security, medical care etc even though they are there illegally. The government has also spent a lot of resources in trying to control the entry of illegal immigrants into the country by setting up militaries that keep and maintain law and order in the boundaries.
Meng 1981, Chinese American understanding: a sixty year search, China institute in America,
Kwong, Levin and Miscevic 2000, Chinese Americans: the immigrants experience, Hugh associates, ISBN 0-88363-128-8.
Tung 2000, Chinese Americans and their immigrant parents: conflict, identity and values, Haworth Press.
Chang and Viking 2003, the Chinese American: a narrative history, Stanford university press, ISBN 0-670-03123-2.
Chen 2002, being Chinese, becoming Chinese American, university of Illinois Press.
Louie 2004, compelled to excel: immigration, education and opportunity among the Chinese Americans, Stanford University Press.
Chang 2003, the Chinese in America, Penguin books, ISBN 0670031232.
Kwong and Miscevic 2005, the Chinese America, The New Press, ISBN 1565849620.
Mark 2004, becoming Chinese American: A history of communities and instaitutions, Altamira Press.
Mea 2004, impossible subjects: illegal aliens making of the modern America, Orbis Press, New York.
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