An Associated Press article of March 19 caught my eye: “Chinese learning French to emigrate to Quebec.” Quebec follows its own immigration policy and passing a test in the French language is often enough to be granted entry in the French-speaking part of Canada. Once in Canada they will move to other parts of the country. Chinese are the largest group of immigrants in Northern America after the Mexicans, and in Australia they have become the largest since 2009, accounting for tens of thousands of immigrants every year. It reminds me of a conversation between U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Chinese Communist leader Deng Xiaoping during the Cold War. During their conversation Carter brought up the human rights issue, just as he did with the Soviet Union, raising questions about the possibility of emigration. Deng replied that he does not mind Chinese moving out: how many Chinese immigrants does Carter want —10 million or 20 million?
Until far into the 20th century it was obvious that America and Australia were reserved for European immigrants only. In Americait was official policy until the Immigration Act of 1965 and the “White Australia” policy was pursued until 1973. Strict quotas were placed on immigration from anywhere but Europe. It is not well known but the American immigration restrictions were strongly supported by labor organizations like California’s Workingmen’s Party and the Knights of Labor. They—rightly—believed that big business used the Asians as a means to press down the wages of the White workmen. Read more