Immigration Life of Filipinos in the United States (Essay Sample)
Your write-up should be 5 pages in length. Please devote the entire write-up to analyzing the key points of your selected article. Remember, you already completed the summary portion of this paper write-up and do not need to re-summarize the article.
The following are some helpful questions to ask when writing your analysis:
What is your thesis?
In what ways does the article help deepen understandings of the big themes discussed in this class?
Is there an issue that the author could have explored to strengthen their argument?
What is this issue and how would it enrich the author's argument?
Hint: I only need part 2, I have already finished part 1
Main points (three time periods)
1. Spanish-American War 1893
eg: Chinese/Japanese “unassimilable (exclusion reason)
2. Great Depression
3. 1934 Act
independence and decolonization ---exclusion
Thesis statement: Include all the points of your essay
every paragraph should have a topic sentence
the identity of Filipinos and the needs of Filipinos were changing by the different time period
Nation, Immigrants, which one was the driving force of the immigration policy?
What's the role of nation?
Filipinos Immigration Life in the United States
History/Asian American Studies 160
The U.S. acquired the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, and this meant that Filipinos were U.S. nationals, but they were granted impendence in 1934 and became non-citizens. In the early 20th century to the 1930s, there was growing hostility towards Filipino immigration and in the end, they were seen as undesirable aliens. Labor union representatives were some of the most vocal exclusionists who stated that their aim was to protect American workers and this meant white workers. The Spanish-American war 1893, Great Depression, decolonization and Philippines full independence reflect the changing attitudes towards Filipino immigration into the U.S as they were targeted for exclusion as their population increased while European migration was encouraged.
In the Spanish-American War 1893, the US emerged victoriously and Spain had to relinquish claims over territories in Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico and also acquired Hawaii (Ngai, 2004). The war allowed the US to be the dominant power in the Caribbean region and pursue her interests in East Asia. At the same time, Cuba’s war of independence from Spain gained support in the U.S. Subsequently, the Philippine-American War that began in 1899 resulted in the Philippines being a U.S, unincorporated territory and this placed restrictions on immigration from the island and Asia, while the U.S. could intervene in the country.
In 1898, President William McKinley reticulated his vision of the “benevolent assimilation” highlighting the American colonial policy in the Philippines where he proclaimed that it was aimed at earning the respect and confidence of the Filipinos (Ngai, 2004). Even though Americans stated that they would protect the rights and liberties of the inhabitants of the Philippines, American expansionism influenced policies towards the island as were the ideologies of colonialism and imperialism. McKinley was keen to see that Filipinos and Americans as liberators and not invaders as the US sought to ‘protect them. However, this was a time when America showed economic and martial control in the Pacific region.
Besides geopolitical factors, economic factors also influenced the U.S. policy on Philippines with Mexican and Filipino migrants on some of the most sought after cheap laborers in the early 20th century. For instance, the adoption of the Johnson Reed Immigration Act of 1924 took place at a time when there was land consolidation and focus on large-scale production (Ngai, 2002). However, the policy on Filipinos’ migration was contradictory as benevolent assimilation was insular while there were still restrictions through immigration policies and even the Chinese/Japanese were deemed “unassimilable” and excluded, but their cheap labor was still required (Ngai, 2004). The Filipinos had to prove to Americans that they could assimilate in the US, but Europeans did not face the same pressure even when they did not talk in English and other East Asians.
During the Great Depression, there were attempts to restrict non-Europeans from settling in the U.S. and this was meant to discourage long term immigration and to preserve “white” America. Among those excluded were Filipinos as they were ineligible to attain American citizenship as they were considered “alien people”. Ngai (2004) mentioned the case of a middle-aged Filipino in 1937 who was longer free to travel in the U.S. has returned to his an...
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