Patrolling the Border for Unwanted Immigrants

Chinese Immigrants in the Old West

They provided cheap labor, and they were blamed for white unemployment. Rampant racial sentiment in the U.S. would result in an 1882 exclusion act, which gave rise to the first great wave of commercial human smuggling along the Arizona-Mexico border. Who were these laborers? The Chinese. Arizona border patrol officers, manned by lawmen such as Jeff Milton, did their best to keep these “coolies” out. After more than 60 years,
the exclusion act was repealed in 1943, and the Chinese already residing in the U.S. became naturalized citizens.

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