by:Jay Caspian Kang

What follows is an excerpt from my book “The Loneliest Americans,” which will be published on Oct. 12. (I also published an excerpt this week in the Times magazine.) The book is a meditation on the 1965 Immigration Act, which I argue is the starting point of the multiethnic society we live in today.

以下是我的书《最孤独的美国人》(The Loneliest Americans)的节选,该书于10月12日出版。(本周时报杂志上也发表了一篇节选。)这本书是我对1965年移民法的思考,在我看来,它是我们今天生活的多种族社会的起点。

On Oct. 3, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stood in front of the Statue of Liberty and said something that would be proved wrong: “This bill that we sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives.” He was referring to the Hart-Celler Immigration Act, a landmark piece of legislation that lifted restrictive quotas on immigration from Asia, Africa and southern and Eastern Europe.

1965年10月3日,林登·约翰逊(Lyndon Johnson)总统站在自由女神像前,说了一句将被证明错误的话:“我们今天签署的法案不是一个革命性的法案。它不会影响数百万人的生活。也不会重塑我们日常生活的结构。”他指的是《哈特—塞勒移民法》(Hart-Celler Immigration Act),这是一项具有里程碑意义的立法,它取消了对亚洲、非洲、南欧和东欧移民的限制性配额。
Its opponents at the time it was finally passed described apocalyptic scenarios in which the United States and its white population would be overrun by a horde of foreigners. Johnson, for his part, assured the public that the easing of restrictions would have only a mild effect on the demographics of the country. Most people, he believed, would stay in their home countries.


Over the next five decades, the Hart-Celler Act would bring tens of millions of immigrants from Asia, southern and Eastern Europe, and Africa. No single piece of legislation has shaped the demographic and economic history of this country in quite the same way.


Before Hart-Celler, immigration into the United States operated under the National Origins Act, a seemingly simple system that doled out up to 150,000 visas a year, distributed among different quotas for each nationality, calculated according to the 1920 census. The more people of your kind you had in the United States, the more people could immigrate from your country of origin. As a result, countries like Ireland, Germany and England would receive far more visas than those in Eastern Europe, Asia or Africa. (African Americans and African immigrants were excluded from the calculation of quotas. While white Americans were classified by nation of origin, all Black Americans were classified by race, and as a result African countries were held to the minimum number of slots.)

在《哈特—塞勒法》之前,移民进入美国依据的是《国家起源法案》(National Origins Act),这是一个看似简单的制度,每年发放15万个签证,根据1920年的人口普查计算,每个国籍分到数量不等的配额。你在美国的同类越多,你的原籍国可以移民的人就越多。因此,爱尔兰、德国和英格兰等国获得的签证数量会远远超过东欧、亚洲或非洲国家。(非裔美国人和非洲移民被排除在配额计算之外。美国白人按国籍分类,而所有美国黑人按种族分类,因此非洲国家的名额最少。)

This quota system did not extend to the “Orient.” The official practice of excluding Asians from the United States’ immigration policies had begun in 1875 with the Page Act, which barred Chinese women from entering the country to limit the ability of Chinese workers to start families. Just seven years later, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, ending all immigration from China and preventing any Chinese people living in America from ever attaining citizenship.

这种配额制并没有延伸到“东方”。将亚裔排除在美国移民政策之外的官方做法始于1875年的《佩奇法案》(Page Act),该法案禁止中国女性进入美国,以限制中国劳工组建家庭的能力。仅仅七年后,《排华法案》(Chinese Exclusion Act)通过,终结了中国移民的到来,并阻止所有居住在美国的中国人获得公民身份。

The law was largely a response to the labor market in California. A majority of Chinese people who had immigrated to the United States were young men. During the Gold Rush and railroad eras, these men served as cheap labor and were generally kept apart from mainstream society.


But as an increasing number of manufacturers and agricultural barons began replacing their work force with the Chinese, a nativist backlash quickly ensued, depicting the Chinese as subhuman carriers of smallpox and cholera. In 1881, George Frederick Keller, an influential cartoonist, drew what would become the defining image of the exclusion fight. A cartoon titled “A Statue for Our Harbor” reimagined the Statue of Liberty as a Chinese man dressed in rags, his right foot stepping on a skull. Around his head, in radiating points of light, are the words “ruin to white labor,” “diseases,” “immorality” and “filth.”

但随着越来越多的制造商和农业大亨开始用华人取代其他劳动力,本土主义的反弹很快就出现了,他们将华人描述为天花和霍乱的携带者,是低一等的人类。1881年,有影响力的漫画家乔治·弗雷德里克·凯勒(George Frederick Keller)画了一幅画,后来成为排华斗争中的典型形象。这幅名为《我们港口的雕像》(A Statue for Our Harbor)的漫画将自由女神像重新描绘成一个衣衫褴褛的华人男子,右脚踩着一个头骨。他的头上有放射状的光点,上面写着“白人劳工的毁灭”、“疾病”、“不道德”和“污秽”。

These indignities carried on into the early 20th century. Young Japanese workers, for example, were still permitted to enter the United States after the Chinese Exclusion Act and split their time among railroad work, mining, logging and small farming ventures. They, too, would soon feel the racialized effects of competition in America’s labor market.


After the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, nativist mobs openly attacked Japanese immigrants in the streets and called for boycotts of their businesses. This rash of xenophobic violence spilled over into local politics. Japanese students, who had been free to attend San Francisco’s public schools, were expelled and forced to enroll in the already segregated Chinese schools. This move, which caused a furor back in Japan, created a diplomatic headache for President Theodore Roosevelt, who had recently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for successfully negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.

1906年旧金山地震后,本土主义暴徒在街头公开攻击日本移民,呼吁抵制他们的企业。这一连串的仇外暴力蔓延到了地方政治。原本可以自由上旧金山公立学校的日本学生遭到驱逐,被迫进入已实行种族隔离的中国学校就读。这一举动在日本国内引起了轩然大波,也给美国总统西奥多·罗斯福(Theodore Roosevelt)带来了外交上的麻烦。就在此前不久,他还因成功通过谈判结束了日俄战争而获得诺贝尔和平奖。

In the end, Roosevelt could not smooth over America’s relationship with Tokyo, in part because of a man named Takao Ozawa, a Japanese immigrant who had settled in San Francisco, studied at the University of California and ultimately relocated to Hawaii after the earthquake. Ozawa was the first foreign-born Asian person to apply for U.S. citizenship, in 1915. The fight went all the way to the Supreme Court, which concluded that while Ozawa was more than fit to become an American, the rights of citizenship could be extended only to white people.

最终,罗斯福未能缓和美日关系,部分原因是一个名叫小泽高雄(Takao Ozawa,音)的日本移民,他在旧金山定居,在加州大学学习,并在地震后最终搬到了夏威夷。1915年,小泽高雄成为第一个申请美国国籍的外国出生的亚裔。这场斗争一直打到最高法院,最高法院的结论是,尽管小泽完全有条件成为美国人,但公民权只能扩大到白人。

This decision, which came down in 1922, set off a fight in Congress between lawmakers who saw an opening to create a fully racialized immigration system — one that kept out not only the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans but Jews as well — and a group of lawmakers, who, along with President Calvin Coolidge, believed new restrictions on immigration would destroy any hope of diplomatic relations with Japan.

1922年做出的这一决定在国会引发了一场斗争,他们看到了创建一个完全种族化的移民制度的机会——不仅日本人、中国人和朝鲜人,而且犹太人也被排除在外——还有一群议员,他们和卡尔文·柯立芝(Calvin Coolidge)总统一样,认为对移民的新限制会摧毁与日本建立外交关系的希望。

Coolidge and his allies lost. The Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 defined an “immigrant” as someone who also had the right to eventual citizenship. And because people from the “Orient” were not white and, therefore, could not become citizens, the law effectively ended all Asian immigration to the United States.

柯立芝和他的盟友失败了。1924年的《约翰逊-里德移民法》(Johnson-Reed Immigration Act)将“移民”定义为同样有权最终获得公民身份的人。由于来自“东方”的人不是白人,因此无法成为公民,因此该法律实际上终止了所有亚裔移民到美国。

Immigration law usually moves in lock step with a country’s foreign policy goals. The day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States and China both declared war on Japan, which prompted a two-year diplomatic effort to classify China as a long-term ally of the United States. In response, Japan began a propaganda campaign that recast the war as a fight against Anglo-Saxon imperialism in the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”


In dozens of pamphlets, articles and radio programs broadcast throughout Asia, Japanese propagandists derided any Asians who believed Americans would treat them as citizens with the same rights as white immigrants. They also set forth a vision of a unified East Asian continent that could usher in an era of unparalleled harmony and economic might. Much of the critique centered on a simple, compelling question: How could the Chinese ally themselves with a country whose racist immigration laws specifically targeted their people?


The provocation worked, although not exactly in the way the Japanese might have envisioned. Between 1941 and 1943, scholars, politicians and members of the media in the United States argued for an end to the Chinese Exclusion Act. The author Pearl Buck, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Good Earth,” drew upon her childhood in China as the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, became a tireless advocate of the end of racist laws against the Chinese.

挑拨产生了效果,虽然并不完全是日本人设想的那样。1941年至1943年间,美国的学者、政治家和媒体成员都主张终止《排华法案》。作家赛珍珠(Pearl Buck)的普利策奖获奖小说《大地》(The Good Earth)取材于在中国度过的童年,这位长老会传教士的女儿一直在坚持不懈地倡导结束排华的种族主义法律。

At a lunch gathering at the Hotel Astor in 1942, Buck noted that Japanese propaganda was starting to show signs of success and concluded that the United States could not win the war unless it convinced its Asian allies that they would be seen as equals in the eyes of American law. Later, Buck would write that as long as the United States continued to discriminate against Chinese people, “we are fighting on the wrong side in this war. We belong with Hitler.”


In May 1943, Buck, her husband and a group of intellectuals and publishers formed the Citizens Committee to Repeal Chinese Exclusion and Place Immigration on a Quota Basis. They used their influence in the media to blast out their message. That same month, the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization held public hearings on the possible repeal of the act. The opposition came mostly from labor organizations, veterans’ groups and “patriotic societies,” who dredged up much of the original logic for Chinese exclusion: an Asian influx would bring a wave of morally depraved men who would quickly displace native workers.

1943年5月,赛珍珠和她的丈夫以及一群知识分子和出版商组成了废除排华法案和配额制移民公民委员会(Citizens Committee to Repeal Chinese Exclusion and Place Immigration on a Quota Basis)。他们利用自己在媒体上的影响力来传播他们的信息。同月,众议院移民和归化委员会就废除法案的可能性举行了公开听证会。反对者主要来自劳工组织、退伍军人团体和“爱国社团”,他们挖掘了许多排斥华人的原始逻辑:亚洲人的涌入会带来一波道德沦丧的人,他们很快就会取代本地工人。

But the Citizens Committee had some powerful allies: Top military officials argued that China’s allegiance was crucial not only to winning in the Pacific theater but also to stabilizing the region after the fighting ended. And in October, as the Exclusion Act was being debated in Congress, President Franklin Roosevelt came out in favor of repeal. In an address, he said: “Nations, like individuals, make mistakes. We must be big enough to acknowledge our mistakes of the past and to correct them. By the repeal of the Chinese exclusion laws, we can correct a historic mistake and silence the distorted Japanese propaganda.” Just over two years after the Pearl Harbor attack, the law was repealed with the passage of the Magnuson Act, which allowed for some immigration from China.

但公民委员会有一些强大的盟友:高级军事官员认为,得到中国的拥护不仅对赢得太平洋战区的胜利至关重要,而且对战斗结束后稳定该地区也至关重要。10月,当国会对排华法案进行辩论时,富兰克林·罗斯福(Franklin Roosevelt)总统表示支持废除。他在讲话中说:“国家和个人一样,都会犯错。我们必须要有强大的内在,承认我们过去的错误并纠正它们。通过废除排华法,我们可以纠正一个历史性错误,让歪曲的日本宣传沉寂。”珍珠港袭击事件发生仅两年多后,随着允许部分来自中国的人移民的《马格努森法案》(Magnuson Act)通过,该法律被废除。

Buck and her allies had put forth a vision of strength through pluralism — a nation whose diplomatic and economic ties to Asia could be deepened by liberal immigration laws that proved the United States did indeed consider the Chinese to be potential contributors to American society as opposed to inscrutable outsiders. In 1942, a poll commissioned by the Office of War Information found that over 80 percent of Americans considered China to be a strong ally of the United States.

赛珍珠和她的盟友提出了通过多元主义增强实力的愿景——自由的移民法可以加深这个国家与亚洲的外交和经济联系,以证明美国确实认为中国人是美国社会的潜在贡献者,而不是不可理喻的外人。1942年,美国战争信息办公室(Office of War Information)委托进行的一项民意调查发现,超过80%的美国人认为中国是美国的强大盟友。

The reality of the Magnuson Act, however, did not match the worldly rhetoric. Roosevelt, who just two years before had authorized the internment of Japanese Americans, brokered a compromise that allowed for only a small increase in the number of Chinese immigrants per year.


Future immigration bills would continue to restrict immigrants from Asia, though some concessions were made. In 1952, Patrick McCarran, a Democratic senator from Nevada, and Francis Walter, a Democratic representative from Pennsylvania, pushed through a complex, endlessly negotiated immigration law that both amplified the rhetoric of fear around Asian and Jewish immigrants and also, counterintuitively, lifted the ban on Asian naturalization, meaning Asian immigrants could now become full citizens. All “Oriental” countries were given a quota of visas, though they were minuscule: 100 to 185 per year.

后来的移民法案继续限制来自亚洲的移民,但做出了一些让步。1952年,来自内华达州的民主党参议员帕特里克·麦卡伦(Patrick McCarran)和来自宾夕法尼亚州的民主党代表弗朗西斯·沃尔特(Francis Walter)推动通过了一项复杂的移民法,历经无数次谈判,该法在放大围绕亚洲和犹太移民的恐惧说辞的同时,却又莫名其妙地解除了禁止亚裔入籍的限制,这意味着亚裔移民现在可以成为正式公民。所有“东方”国家都有一个签证配额,然而数量很少:每年100到185个。

But these allowances came with a caveat: Tight restrictions were placed on who, exactly, could come to the United States. Educated, oftentimes wealthy professionals with families were given preference over poor laborers. And while some new pathways for immigrants had been laid out, the bill also contained an “Asian-Pacific Triangle” provision that capped the number of total Asian immigrants at 2,000 per year.


The classification of “Asian-Pacific” was purely racial: A second-generation Chinese immigrant from, say, Argentina would not be able to apply for a visa as an Argentine. Because of his racial origin, he would always be Chinese, whereas the British-born child of Italian immigrants could come to the United States under the British quota. The McCarran-Walter Act also curtailed Jewish immigration. In both instances, the justification came out of the budding Cold War and the belief that Asians and Jews would propagate communism within U.S. borders.

“亚太地区”的分类纯粹是基于种族:来自阿根廷的第二代中国移民将无法以阿根廷人的身份申请签证。由于他的种族出身,他永远是华人,而意大利移民在英国生的孩子可以在英国配额下来到美国。《麦卡伦-沃尔特法案》(McCarran-Walter Act)也限制了犹太人移民。在这两种情况下,人们都以刚刚开始显现的冷战为理由,以及认为亚洲人和犹太人会在美国境内传播共产主义。

The bill was intensely debated between nativists and more liberal immigration advocates in Congress. Senator McCarran argued, “The cold, hard truth is that in the United States today there are hard-core, indigestible blocs who have not become integrated into the American way of life, but who, on the contrary, are its deadly enemy.”


President Harry Truman ultimately vetoed it, only to be overridden.

哈里·杜鲁门(Harry Truman)总统最终否决了该法案,但否决还是被推翻了。

In the past, pro-immigration politicians had been reluctant to commit to a full-throated defense of their principles for the very simple reason that nativism had always been popular. But in the debates over McCarran-Walter, a handful of lawmakers led by Representative Emanuel Celler of New York began to advance the idea that the restrictions on Asian immigration were racist and immoral. In a speech, Senator William Benton of Connecticut argued that the “great investment of our boys’ blood” in the Korean War had been undercut by this sort of shallow and ultimately meaningless immigration reform. “We can totally destroy that investment, and can ruthlessly and stupidly destroy faith and respect in our great principles, by enacting laws that, in effect, say to the peoples of the world: ‘We love you, but we love you from afar. We want you, but for God’s sake, stay where you are.’”

过去,支持移民的政客不愿在原则的捍卫上全力以赴,原因很简单,本土主义一直很受欢迎。但在关于《麦卡伦-沃尔特法案》的辩论中,以纽约众议员伊曼纽尔·塞勒(Emanuel Celler)为首的少数立法者开始提出,对亚裔移民的限制是种族主义和不道德的。在一次演讲中,康涅狄格州参议员威廉·本顿(William Benton)辩称,这种肤浅且最终毫无意义的移民改革削弱了“我们的士兵在朝鲜战争中用血肉换来的巨大成果”。“我们可以完全摧毁这项成果,并且可以无情而愚蠢地摧毁对我们伟大原则的信仰和尊重,颁布这项法律实际上是对世界人民说:‘我们爱你,但我们想隔得远远地爱你。我们想要你,但看在上帝的份上,你还是别来了。’”

Those rebuttals, along with pressure to make the country’s immigration laws reflect the logic of the civil rights movement, would lay the groundwork for the eventual passage of the Hart-Celler 1965 Immigration Act. In 1960, white immigrants from Europe and Canada made up roughly 84 percent of the immigrant population in the United States. East and South Asians, by contrast, were around 4 percent. Between 1980 and 1990, a majority of the millions of immigrants to the United States came from Latin America or Asia.

这些反驳,加上迫使本国移民法反映民权运动逻辑的压力,将为1965年移民法《哈特-塞勒法案》(Hart-Celler Act)的最终通过奠定基础。1960年,来自欧洲和加拿大的白人移民约占美国移民人口的84%。相比之下,东亚和南亚人的比例约为4%。1980年至1990年间,美国的数百万移民中的大多数来自拉丁美洲或亚洲。

Many of these workers brought over their relatives through the family reunification statute in the Hart-Celler Act. A Pew Research Center report found that in 2011, 62 percent of immigrants from the six largest “source countries” (China, India, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam and Japan) received their green cards through family sponsorships. You may have come to the United States from Korea to study engineering, received your H-1B visa and fallen right into the track of assimilation into the middle class, but your brother and sister might come over with a very different set of abilities, ambitions and visions for their life in this country.

这些工人中的许多人通过《哈特-塞勒法案》中的家庭团聚法带来了他们的亲属。皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的一份报告发现,2011年,来自六个最大“来源国”(中国、印度、菲律宾、韩国、越南和日本)的移民中有62%通过家庭赞助获得了绿卡。你可能是从韩国来美国学习工程学,拿到了H-1B签证,然后进入了中产阶级的同化轨道,但你的兄弟姐妹可能带着完全不同的能力、抱负和生活愿景来到这个国家。

As it turns out, the nativists were right about the coming hordes. The immigrants from Asia arrived in a series of waves throughout the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. They included my parents, my grandparents, my mother’s five siblings, two of my cousins and me. And although their new country did have pockets of people who looked like them, they shared almost nothing in common with their fellow “Asian Americans” except some well-worn threads of culture, whether food or holiday rituals, and the assumptions of white people.


分享 2021-10-19

1 个评论










福音派传道人 境外反共势力 亨学家


  • 最新活动: 2021-10-19
  • 浏览: 1233