Text: H.Res.683 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (06/18/2012)

 
[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 683 Engrossed in House (EH)]

H. Res. 683

                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                         June 18, 2012.
Whereas many Chinese came to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, 
        as did people from other countries, in search of the opportunity to 
        create a better life;
Whereas the United States ratified the Burlingame Treaty on October 19, 1868, 
        which permitted the free movement of the Chinese people to, from, and 
        within the United States and made China a ``most favored nation'';
Whereas in 1878, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting 
        that President Rutherford B. Hayes renegotiate the Burlingame Treaty so 
        Congress could limit Chinese immigration to the United States;
Whereas, on February 22, 1879, the House of Representatives passed the Fifteen 
        Passenger Bill, which only permitted 15 Chinese passengers on any ship 
        coming to the United States;
Whereas, on March 1, 1879, President Hayes vetoed the Fifteen Passenger Bill as 
        being incompatible with the Burlingame Treaty;
Whereas, on May 9, 1881, the United States ratified the Angell Treaty, which 
        allowed the United States to suspend, but not prohibit, immigration of 
        Chinese laborers, declared that ``Chinese laborers who are now in the 
        United States shall be allowed to go and come of their own free will,'' 
        and reaffirmed that Chinese persons possessed ``all the rights, 
        privileges, immunities, and exemptions which are accorded to the 
        citizens and subjects of the most favored nation'';
Whereas the House of Representatives passed legislation that adversely affected 
        Chinese persons in the United States and limited their civil rights, 
        including--

    (1) on March 23, 1882, the first Chinese Exclusion bill, which excluded 
for 20 years skilled and unskilled Chinese laborers and expressly denied 
Chinese persons alone the right to be naturalized as American citizens, and 
which was opposed by President Chester A. Arthur as incompatible with the 
terms and spirit of the Angell Treaty;

    (2) on April 17, 1882, intending to address President Arthur's 
concerns, the House passed a new Chinese Exclusion bill, which prohibited 
Chinese workers from entering the United States for 10 years instead of 20, 
required certain Chinese laborers already legally present in the United 
States who later wished to reenter the United States to obtain 
``certificates of return,'' and prohibited courts from naturalizing Chinese 
individuals;

    (3) on May 3, 1884, an expansion of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which 
applied it to all persons of Chinese descent, ``whether subjects of China 
or any other foreign power'';

    (4) on September 3, 1888, the Scott Act, which prohibited legal Chinese 
laborers from reentering the United States and cancelled all previously 
issued ``certificates of return,'' and which was later determined by the 
Supreme Court to have abrogated the Angell Treaty; and

    (5) on April 4, 1892, the Geary Act, which reauthorized the Chinese 
Exclusion Act for another ten years, denied Chinese immigrants the right to 
be released on bail upon application for a writ of habeas corpus, and 
contrary to customary legal standards regarding the presumption of 
innocence, authorized the deportation of Chinese persons who could not 
produce a certificate of residence unless they could establish residence 
through the testimony of ``at least one credible white witness'';

Whereas in the 1894 Gresham-Yang Treaty, the Chinese government consented to a 
        prohibition of Chinese immigration and the enforcement of the Geary Act 
        in exchange for readmission to the United States of Chinese persons who 
        were United States residents;
Whereas in 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii, took control of the 
        Philippines, and excluded only the residents of Chinese ancestry of 
        these territories from entering the United States mainland;
Whereas, on April 29, 1902, as the Geary Act was expiring, Congress indefinitely 
        extended all laws regulating and restricting Chinese immigration and 
        residence, to the extent consistent with Treaty commitments;
Whereas in 1904, after the Chinese government withdrew from the Gresham-Yang 
        Treaty, Congress permanently extended, ``without modification, 
        limitation, or condition,'' the prohibition on Chinese naturalization 
        and immigration;
Whereas these Federal statutes enshrined in law the exclusion of the Chinese 
        from the democratic process and the promise of American freedom;
Whereas in an attempt to undermine the American-Chinese alliance during World 
        War II, enemy forces used the Chinese exclusion legislation passed in 
        Congress as evidence of anti-Chinese attitudes in the United States;
Whereas in 1943, in furtherance of American war objectives, at the urging of 
        President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Congress repealed previously enacted 
        legislation and permitted Chinese persons to become United States 
        citizens;
Whereas Chinese-Americans continue to play a significant role in the success of 
        the United States; and
Whereas the United States was founded on the principle that all persons are 
        created equal: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved,

SECTION 1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.

    That the House of Representatives regrets the passage of legislation that 
adversely affected people of Chinese origin in the United States because of 
their ethnicity.

SEC. 2. DISCLAIMER.

    Nothing in this resolution may be construed or relied on to authorize or 
support any claim, including but not limited to constitutionally based claims, 
claims for monetary compensation or claims for equitable relief against the 
United States or any other party, or serve as a settlement of any claim against 
the United States.
            Attest:

                                                                          Clerk.