The Chinese are inhabitants of another planet. Machine like. They are automatic engines of flesh and blood. Why not discriminate? Why aid in the increase and distribution over our domain of a degraded and inferior race, and the progenitors of an inferior sort of men. We ask you to secure us American Anglo-Saxon civilization without contamination or adulteration. Let us keep pure the blood which circulates through our political system. And preserve our life from the gangrene of oriental civilization.
Senator John F. Miller (R-CA) on the US Senate floor in 1881, advocating for the Chinese Exclusion Act. The New York Times called Miller’s two-hour speech “a mastery statement, admirable in temper and judicial in fairness”. (via zuky)
The first Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur the following year, in 1882. The law was written to last for 10 years; in 1892, it was renewed for another 10 year; and in 1902, Chinese Exclusion was made permanent.