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Chinese Exclusion Act, 1884 Amendments

The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act allowed laborers and merchants already resident in the U.S. to leave the country and return, if they had the proper certification. In 1884, Congress passed amendments to the 1882 act which tightened the certification process. The certificates were to include more personal information about the holder than originally required, to be issued only by the federal government, and to constitute the only proof of residence; in addition, immigration officials could reject their authenticity. Finally, an amendment clarified that the Exclusion Act applied to all Chinese regardless of country of citizenship or origin. The Chinese legation issued a strongly worded protest against the amendments.
Sources consulted:

Charles J. McClain, In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle Against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994)


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