…The resolution, SR201, was sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.,
and Scott Brown, R-Mass. It passed unanimously by voice vote Thursday. The
vote cleared the way for a companion bill in the House by Rep. Judy Chu,
D-Monterey Park (Los Angeles County), who is the first Chinese American
woman elected to Congress.
…The Senate resolution acknowledged that the laws targeting Chinese
immigrants were incompatible “with the basic founding principles
recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all persons are created
equal,” and with “the spirit” of the Constitution. It said the United
States “deeply regrets passing six decades of legislation directly
targeting the Chinese people for physical and political exclusion and the
wrongs committed against Chinese and American citizens of Chinese descent
who suffered under these discriminatory laws.”
In 2007, CHSA developed the Remembering 1882 exhibit, which explores the historical debate around the Exclusion Act from its origins through its full repeal in 1968, the civil rights struggle of Chinese Americans and allies, and the historic importance of habeas corpus in the Chinese American community.
Since then, the exhibit has impacted legislation on a nationwide level and also toured the country in colleges, museums, and civic institutions. According to Ted Gong, Co-Chair of the 1882 Project, “The Remembering 1882 exhibit has had and continues to have a significant impact educating the public about the Chinese Exclusion Laws. The House and Senate resolutions were direct results of efforts made by a coalition of national organizations brought together because members had sought each other out after reviewing a public display of Remembering 1882 in Washington DC.”
Read more about the efforts of CHSA and the 1882 Project in the CHSA Bulletin Summer 2011 issue.
More coverage about the US Senate measure:
San Jose Mercury: U.S. Senate apologizes for decades of anti-Chinese discrimination