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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 42 - Relative to Chinese Americans in California

Author: California Legislature
Source: California Legislature (Link)
Date: 17 July 2009
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Document Type: Original Source
Donor: California Legislature (United States) Event Date: ca. 1852-1943
Recipient: Chinese Americans Reparation Date: July 17, 2009

Between 1849 and 1852 over 25,000 Chinese immigrants were attracted by the American Gold Rush and settled in the state of California.  In 1852 California levied a punitive foreign miners' tax aimed a Chinese immigrants; while the tax targeted the Chinese, whites and other races were exempt from paying the tax.  In 1882 U.S. Congress enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act; the Act established a moratorium on Chinese labour migrants entering the United States.  Other racist laws were also enacted during the same time period including legislation that prohibited the Chinese from owning land or property, marrying whites, working in the public sector and testifying against whites in court.  Some of laws remained in existence until the 1940s such as the Chinese Exclusion Act which was not repealed until 1943.


Apology and recognition.


On 17 July 2009 the California legislature approved a bill apologizing to Chinese Americans residing in the state for racist laws dating back to the mid-19th century Gold Rush.  The bill also recognizes the contributions that Chinese immigrants made to the state, particularly their work on the Transcontinental Railroad.


This is the text of the apology, found in Resolution No. 42 of the California legislature.


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