Saturday, January 9, 2021

Teaching a Class is Very Educational

The next case was U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898).  He was born in San Francisco to Chinese parents.  Some years later he traveled to China.  On his return in 1895, he was refused entry because the U.S. had passed the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) which prohibited immigration of Chinese men.  Chinese women, who were often forced into short and miserable lives of prostitution here, were excluded in 1875.  The Court wrote an extraordinarily long decision that concluded Wong Kim Ark was a U.S. citizen; he could not be prohibited entry to the U.S.


Curiously, Congress debated this very question:



9 comments:

  1. I don't get it. Are you saying that Wong Kim Ark should have been excluded because of Howard's argument about foreigners and aliens?

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    1. That seems to have been the intent: children born here to foreign diplomats would not be citizens.

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    2. By that logic, children born to slaves illegally imported after 1808 would likewise not be citizens.

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    3. Post-1808 imports were small; about 50,000 from 1808-1861. And few of their children would have been only descendants of illegal imports.

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    4. I don't think Mr. Cramer argued that U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark was wrongly decided. Senator Howard's comment did not apply to Kim, whose parents were not diplomats.

      As for children of illegally imported slaves, those slaves were "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States". Therefore the children would be "natural-born" Americans, though not citizens, of course, unless the parents had become free.

      This same rule applies to illegal aliens, unfortuntely.

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    5. Wong Kim Ark was the son of the Chinese consul in S.F.

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  2. What about the stories of rich Chinese women flying to San Francisco or Seattle to give birth so their child will have dual citizenship.

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    1. Likely true, especially for Kong Kongers. It certainly happens on our Southern border.

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    2. Korean women give birth in the US so their sons won't have to do military sevice.

      There are also Middle Eastern families in which the women all travel to the US to give birth. Some of them are third-generation "Americans". (A few also run this on Canada.)

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