House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement marking the 70th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Leader Pelosi was a co-sponsor of H.Res. 683 which passed the House last year, a resolution formally apologizing for the Chinese exclusion laws.
"Seventy years ago today, our nation took an important step away from decades of racism and prejudice -- repealing the xenophobic Chinese Exclusion Act. The repeal made it possible for millions of Chinese in the United States to live openly in the country that so many of them helped build, marking the beginning of the end of years of discrimination.
"Our nation would not be what it is today without the contributions of generations of Chinese Americans. On this anniversary, we are reminded that diversity has always been part of our nation's strength. We remember that we are and always have been, by and large, a nation of immigrants.
"Once again, our nation has the opportunity to act to lift millions of hard-working immigrants out of the shadows and restore justice to our immigration laws. In the spirit of the anniversary we mark today -- for Chinese Americans and all who trace their roots to points beyond our shores -- we must heed the lessons of our past, answer the call of the present, and build a future of equality and opportunity across our country."