Gary Chodorow: Senate Apologizes for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

Gary Chodorow: Senate Apologizes for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

"Congress has previously apologized for slavery of African-Americans, for holding Japanese-Americans in camps during World War II, and for the 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  Now, in the Senate, the resolution of regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act was authored by Scott Brown (Republican–Massachusetts) and passed  by unanimous consent. In the House, which has yet to vote on the resolution, it is authored by Judy Chu (Democrat–California).  Chu said the purpose of the recently introduced resolution  is to call on Congress “to illuminate a past mistake, and reaffirm our commitment to freedom and equality.” It does not provide for monetary reparations.  As an immigration lawyer, I would hope the resolution acts as an impetus for the Supreme Court to reconsider the plenary power doctrine. That doctrine, which originated in the racially-tainted Chae Chan Ping decision, is out of step with modern constitutional doctrine, which adopts a more inclusive view of national membership and a more robust interpretation of individual rights."

Gary Chodorow, Oct. 9, 2011.