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Commemorating the End of Chinese Exclusion Act

China Press, Posted: Dec 14, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO President Roosevelt terminated the Chinese Exclusion Act on Dec. 17, 1943, which had been enforced for 61 years since 1882. San Francisco Human Rights Commissioner Faye Woo Lee and San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu proposed making Dec. 17 an annual commemoration day to remember and learn from history, reports the China Press. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first U.S. law to discriminate against a single ethnic group. The act forbade Chinese workers from entering the country, and prohibited Chinese who were already in the United States from applying for citizenship, which worked to separate families. "San Francisco has long been known by its diversity," Chu said. "The termination of the Act is a historical moment, which symbolizes our country's moving forward to equality."

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