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Burst Details

Who was Wong Kim Ark? How a son of immigrants helped define U.S. citizenship.

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2 months ago

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Was all said and done before the arguments I in the San Francisco Courtroom Eakin Ninety five in which the case was heard of long came arc. A man in his late teens employed as a cook in that city was born in that city to parents who had come to America from China so many others had during the construction of the transcontinental railroad when. His parents moved back home. Some years later there was a recession in the United States and people started blaming. People like them for taking jobs changing the culture. The usual in the federal government passed the Chinese exclusion act in eighteen. Eighty two stopping all immigration from that country and it became too much for his parents but Wong Kim Ark State in America in his native country but when he went to China to visit his family in one thousand nine hundred five even though he had done so at least once before in return without incident. Even though on this trip the eighteen ninety-five trip. He carried extensive documents. Notarized and San Francisco prior to his departure that proved he was a native born American. He was refused readmittance. He didn't know why he didn't know that the government was looking for someone just like him. In American born child of Chinese immigrants so that they could detain him and hopefully affirm once and for all that people like him. We're not citizens and so he was taken to court before the appeal was heard in the United States Supreme Court in March eighteen ninety seven before it ruled that a child born in the United States of parents of Chinese descent. Who at the time of his birth or subjects of the emperor of China but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States? Inter there carrying on business in are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China that child by extension any child born in America would be a citizen would be an American before. The plaintiff learned of his victory in was allowed back into the United States to live out his life as a citizen before he begins to disappear from the historical record leaving just enough clues to suggest this that he found that his case that the ruling that created birthright citizenship in America didn't change the fundamentals of America. There was still discrimination. There was still violence against people like him in one came arc immigrated to China and never came back home before all of that before all of that one K. Mark spent month after month after month on a ship in San Francisco Bay incite of the Golden Gate. Not The bridge. It wasn't built yet. It would be decades before the pilings began to rise out of the grey waters in the platform stretch out from the hillsides and the San Francisco Peninsula in Marin the straight where the bay meets the Pacific. We're traders in minors in imigrants. Like his parents pass through Wong Kim Ark State and a boat for the duration of his case having little idea how long they would take when he would be allowed off and where as the swelled in sank in swelled and sank sometimes rocking him to sleep sometimes tearing him from the ship. Moaning Wind Howling sometimes. Sometimes not all the water calm enough to hear music from shore laughter from boats coming or going free to come and go in who would look out onto the land the hills green and Brown wondering whether he would walk those hills again wondering when and wondering whether this would all pass wondering whether he would get to go back to his own country whether it'd be the same country when he got there