Chinese Immigration to the United States,
1884-1944

A Digital Archive

Introduction

1882 to 1943: US Immigration from China Curtailed

From 1882 to 1943 the United States Government severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States. This Federal policy resulted from concern over the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the United States in response to the need for inexpensive labor. Congress passed several laws restricting their immigration and naturalization. In its efforts to regulate these matters, the Congress also established federal agencies that created documentation related to those activities and its management of those people under the existing legislation. This website provides an overview of that history and offers an online, searchable index to many of the nearly 200,000 “casefiles” held at NARA which cover the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1880-1943).