History in the Making

Document Type



While the many immigrant stories associated with the American melting pot are set against the backdrop of the east coasts’ Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, it is important to note that immigration to America’s West Coast was arguably more influential in the development of U.S. immigration policy. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Chinese and Japanese fought for the right to become citizens while facing opposition from both the American public and the U.S. legal system. Examining these struggles against the common narrative contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to come to the U.S. and become an American.