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Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of Repealing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

On December 17, 1943, the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, also known as the Magnuson Act, was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hence, this year marks the 80th anniversary of repealing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

To commemorate this historic moment and celebrate the significant progress in equal rights for all Americans including Chinese/Asian Americans, we, the Initiating Committee along with other prominent civic organizations, will hold a national conference to Commemorate the 80th anniversary of Repealing the Chinese Exclusion Act(CRCEA80) on December 5, 2003 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

The Essence of Being Americans

America was founded on the principle that …“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Therefore, being an American is solely based on one’s allegiance to this American Ideal, rather than based on any heritage such as lineage, race, skin color, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, etc..

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

– Thomas Jefferson

Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, 1776

America – a Nation of Immigrants

The signing of Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson

America has always been a Nation of Immigrants beginning with native Americans whose ancestors migrated from northeast Asia. Since our constitutional republic was founded in 1789, generations of immigrants of different backgrounds from countries around the world have come to the new continent over different periods, together… “to form a more perfect union, establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for common defense, promoting general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity”.

This rich diversity of race, ethnicity and culture combined with America’s founding principle and its Constitution has made America forever more vibrant and more creative… “the land of the free and the home of the brave” with a democratic representative government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

The Long Journey to the American Dream

Although the Founding Fathers established the founding principle of equality in 1776, progress towards equality and justice for all Americans has been a long and hard journey, from Black Slavery to the Jim Crow laws, from anti-Catholics to anti-Semitism, from the exclusion of Chinese to the internment of Japanese, just to name a few examples. Today, standing on the shoulders of these giants such as Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Lyndon Johnson, etc., we, Chinese/Asian Americans aspire to join hand-in-hand with all Americans of all ethnic groups to build a More Perfect Union.

Therefore, we invite and welcome not only Chinese/Asian Americans but also Americans of all heritages to join us at the aforementioned national conference, not only to learn from the historical lessons, but also to take initiatives to continue Dr. King’s unfinished “American Dream” which is Equality and Justice for Every American.

“I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin L. King Jr., 1963