Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) released the following statement after House Resolution 683, the Resolution of Regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act, was passed by the House of Representatives today:
"Chinese immigrants were the target of our nation's first law to ban immigration by race or nationality. The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed in 1892, largely barred Chinese people from traveling to this country unless they were merchants, teachers or students. It also prohibited Chinese residents, no matter how long they had legally worked in the country, from becoming naturalized citizens. Over 51 years elapsed before this unjust law was repealed by Congress in 1943.
"Today, with over 2.5 million Chinese Americans, it's hard to imagine that such a law existed. Chinese Americans have become part of the fabric of this great country and have risen to become leaders of industry, culture, public service, education and science.
"By passing this resolution Congress repudiates the Chinese Exclusion Act. Hopefully by recognizing the lessons of this shameful act of discrimination, we can stop similar harsh anti-immigrant laws from being enacted today."