Chinese Exclusion Act Documentary Screening – May 24th at 5:00 pm

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The Immigration Working Group will be hosting a screening of this documentary film on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 5:00 pm. The event will take place in the Sociology Lounge (Room 6112) of the CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Ave). We look forward to seeing you there.

THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT is a documentary by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu, produced by Steeplechase Films and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The film explores the important connections between the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act – the only federal legislation in United States history ever to single out and name a specific race and nationality for exclusion from immigration and citizenship – and the history of American civil liberties, immigration, labor, and culture. THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT examines the dramatic social, political, and economic circumstances that lead to this landmark piece of legislation and the wide-ranging consequences it had on national attitudes towards race, culture, politics, and society. The film also shines a light on the forgotten history of Chinese American resilience and resistance to the exclusionary laws and the affronts to their civil rights, including educational segregation, forced registration, and mass lynchings.

Chinese Americans resisted in many ways, including through community organizing, civil disobedience, and the justice system. They brought 10,000 cases to federal courts, which led to a number of legal precedents that are defining to this day. At its core, THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT is a deeply American story about immigration and national identity, civil rights and human justice, and how we define who can be an American and what being an American means. The film examines the economic, cultural, social, legal, racial, and political dimensions of the law; the forces and events that gave rise to it; and the effect it has had, and continues to have, on American culture and identity, as well as the larger issues of globalization, immigration, labor, and civil rights that continue to dominate headlines today.


Data resources

Below is a list of many places with some great datasets. This list is by no means exhaustive. You may also want to check the blog posts for “data.”

Data Sources / Datasets

US Census

Immigration Research Centers

There are no hard and fast lines for what a “research center” is or how it differs from our “datasets and data” page (since many datasets are actually housed at research centers. Nevertheless, we tried to add a little organization here. In addition to these centers, there are many resources that are based at various CUNY campuses.

CUNY immigration resources

There are a number of CUNY-wide initiatives and resources on immigration. Below are only some places to start.

CUNY-wide Initiatives



Hunter College

Lehman College

  • Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies
    • The Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies advances social justice and human dignity in an interdisciplinary fashion through active involvement of faculty, students, and community in research and teaching.

Queens College

Queensborough Community College

Voting Rights and Non-Citizens

Guest Contributor: Ron Hayduk (Queens College, CUNY) is the author of Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting Rights in the United States (Routledge, 2006) and is a co-founder of the Coalition to Expand Voting Rights.

Can you imagine how electoral dynamics in New York City would change if one million new voters were added to the rolls, particularly if those new voters were the newest New Yorkers? That question may be answered in the 2013 elections, if a bill that was recently introduced into the New York City Council passes. The Voting Rights Restoration Act (aka, Intro 410) would restore voting rights to legal noncitizen immigrants in municipal elections (mayor, comptroller, city council members, borough presidents, district attorneys, judges).  [please check the bottom of the post to see who has signed and who has not] Read more