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Immigration Archives - Legislation Relative to Japanese Laborers

During 1906 the question of Japanese immigration became acute, and the Pacific States demanded exclusion legislation for the Japanese of the same sort as existed for the Chinese. This was finally settled in the passport provision inserted in the immigration law of February 20, 1907.

This provision authorized the President to refuse admission to any aliens making use of any passports to the insular possessions, to the Canal Zone, or to any other country than the United States, in order to gain admission to the continental United States. The President, in his proclamation of March 14, 1907, availed himself of this provision, and excluded "Japanese or Korean laborers, skilled or unskilled, who have received passports to go to Mexico, Canada, or Hawaii, and come therefrom."

To give this full force, an understanding with Japan was reached that the existing policy of discouraging the emigration of her subjects to this country should be continued. This agreement, by which the two governments cooperate to secure an effective enforcement of the regulation, contemplates that the Japanese Government shall issue passports to continental United States only to such of its subjects as are non-laborers, or are laborers who, in coming to the continent, seek to resume a formerly acquired domicile, to join a parent, wife, or children residing there, or to assume active control of an already possest interest in a farming enterprise in this country.

Jeremiah W. Jenks, Ph.D., LL.D. and W. Jett Lauck, A.B., "Legislation Relative to Japanese Laborers" In The Immigration Problem, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1912, P. 321.

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