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In the 1870s, white workers' frustration with economic distress, labor market uncertainty, and capitalist exploitation turned into anti-Chinese sentiment and racist attacks against the Chinese called them the "yellow peril." In 1882, the U. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, and later extended to exclude all Asian immigrants until World War II.The number of new immigrants arriving in the United States from China dwindled from 123,000 in the 1870s to 14,800 in the 1890s, and then to a historically low number of 5,000 in the 1930s.Legal exclusion, augmented by extralegal persecution and anti-Chinese violence, effectively drove the Chinese out of the mines, farms, woolen mills, and factories on the West Coast.As a result, many Chinese laborers already in the United States lost hope of ever fulfilling their dreams and returned permanently to China.New York accounts for 16 percent, second only to California, and Hawai'i for 6 percent.However, other states that have historically received fewer Chinese immigrants have witnessed phenomenal growth, such as Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
One pattern of social mobility is the time-honored path of starting at the bottom and moving up through hard work.As a result, low-skilled workers starting at the bottom may well be trapped there with little chance of upward mobility even when they work hard.The second mode is incorporation into professional occupations in the mainstream economy through educational achievement.Chinese Americans continue to concentrate in the West and in urban areas.
One state, California, accounts for 40 percent of all Chinese Americans (1.1 million).That dropped steadily over time, but males still outnumbered females by more than 2:1 by the 1940s.In much of the pre-World War II era, the Chinese American community was essentially an isolated bachelors' society consisting of a small merchant class and a vast working class of sojourners (temporary immigrants who intended to return home after making money working in the U. After the 1950s, when hundreds of refugees and their families fled Communist China and arrived in the U. and particularly since the enactment of the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act, the ethnic community has experienced unprecedented demographic and social transformation from a bachelors' society to a family community.This route is particularly relevant to those with limited education, few marketable job skills, and little familiarity with the larger labor market.