TO THE EDITOR:
The 1875 Page Act.
The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.
The 1922 Cable Act.
1922 Ozawa v. the U.S.
1923 Thind v. the U.S.
1942 Executive Order 9066.
This is an incomplete list of the various immigration acts, Supreme Court cases and executive orders that have targeted Asian nationals, preventing them either from entering the U.S. or attaining citizenship.
Now we can add the most recent executive order signed by President Trump on Friday, Jan. 27 to this list. If the list that opens this piece is not familiar to you, please Google each one.
There is nothing new in the language or rationale of the latest executive order. Indeed, who the Trump administration is targeting is in line with how Asians (and in this case many of the nations from the Middle East can be considered West Asian nations) have typically been treated in the United States.
We are foreign, not familiar. We pray to a different god. Our native language is strange and unintelligible to American ears. The English we speak is accented with our mother tongues — tongues that the U.S. government can’t trust because they believe they are forked and duplicitous.
All of the above acts were eventually found to be unconstitutional — they were declared to be against the very principles of the United States that the nation was founded on.
I know that, in time, this latest executive order will be deemed unconstitutional. But I wish that we didn’t keep repeating the mistakes of our nation’s past.
Prof. Jennifer Ho
English & Comparative Literature
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