Producer 1990 Institute 
Overview America has been represented as an open society that welcomes immigrants to a land of opportunities. Many immigrants from Asia came to find a better life for their family, escaping from poverty, prosecution, colonialism, and other political atrocities. But America did not receive them with open arms. Throughout history, people from Asia have been excluded, discriminated against, subjected to violence, and prevented from becoming American citizens. Laws were passed that kept them from voting, owning land, marrying the person they loved, and seeing their relatives again. Though coming from different countries and cultures, the pioneering Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Filipinos, and more Asians who arrived here each faced similar conditions of exclusion, which forged the beginnings of a common, shared Asian experience in America. This educational video takes you through exclusion experiences that Asians endured then and what they continue to face as Americans now. Understand the past to shape the future. Please see the additional resources below including a downloadable lesson guide.

Video Time Codes: 

0:00 Introduction

0:50 19th Century and Prior

6:36 20th Century 

13:03 1965 Immigration Act

Publish Date May 2023
For 9-12 Teachers Downloadable Word Document.

View pdf version here.


Lesson Plan:

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Curriculum Guide, Chinese Historical Society of America

Snapshots of School Segregation, by Noreen Naseem Rodriguez

“The Chinese Question from a Chinese Standpoint”, 1873, by Sylvia Chong, The National Humanities Center

The Chinese Expulsion Act of 1882, by Gwen Whiting, Washington State History Museum 

Southeast Asian Refugees, Asian Americans Advancing Justice 

Education Resources: for learners of all ages that make learning about the Japanese American experience engaging and exciting, Japanese American National Museum

Lesson Plans | Duty to Country: explores the history of US imperialism in the Philippines, WWII, immigration and civil rights movement, the filipino veterans recognition and education project, Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (

MOCA Heroes Digital Magazines, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

Lesson Plan: Asian Immigration, Immigration History

Chinese Exclusion Act and the Exclusion of Asians, Pacific Islanders and Chinese Women, The Asian American Education Project.

Teaching Chinese Immigration in the 19th Century: Lesson Plans and Resources (grades 5-12), The Immigrant Learning Center

Reference Materials Read:

Chinese Immigrants Were Forced Out of Eureka in 1885 — Here’s How Locals Are Making That History Known, by Héctor Alejandro Arzate, October 15, 2021, KQED 

Timeline of Systemic Racism Against AAPI, Stanford Libraries

‘I’ve walked between two worlds’: What belonging means for Asian Americans, by Elaine Teng, May 24, 2021, National Geographic

Asian American Then and Now, Linking Past to Present, Asia Society 

Chinese Exclusion Act, updated August 9, 2022, History

Roldan v. Los Angeles County: The Case That Criminalized Filipinos Marrying Outside Their Race, by Rona Alondra, December 30, 2021, Esquire

When Hilario Met Sally: The Fight Against Anti-Miscegenation Laws, by Alex S. Fabros, Jr, October 02, 2013, Positively Filipino

What are the Benefits and responsibilities of Citizenship, US Citizenship and Immigration Services

America’s love-hate relationship with immigrants, by Angelica Quintero, updated January 13, 2018, Los Angeles Times

History of Korean Immigration to America, from 1903 to Present, by Soojin Chung, Boston University

In Observance of Centennial of Korean Immigration to the U.S., 2003, National Association of Korean Americans

Asian Americans: Growth and Change in the 1970s, by Peter S. Xenos, Robert W. Gardner, Herbert R. Barringer, and Michael J. Levin, May 1987, Center for Migration Studies

Asianomics in America Contributions and Challenges, by Daan Struyven, Daniel Milo, and Hui Shan, May 2, 2022, The Goldman Sachs Group

When Saying ”I do” Meant Giving Up Your U.S. Citizenship, by Meg Hacker, National Archives

When Saying ”I do” Meant Giving Up Your U.S. Citizenship Handout, by Meg Hacker, National Archives 


Japanese Codebreakers Secretly Helped Win World War II | Full Documentary, May 17, 2021, Twin Cities PBS

Numbers Don’t Lie? Model Minority explained in 3 minutes, May 11, 2021, 1990 Institute

Waves of Immigrants: The Asian American Journey, February, 2023, 1990 Institute

Understanding America: Asian American History, Contributions, and Current Challenges, by Dr. Madeline Hsu, May 7, 2021, US Department of State

What was the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act? | The Chinese Exclusion Act, May 29, 2018, American Experience | PBS

Chinese American: Inclusion/Exclusion | United States vs. Wong Kim Ark [Exhibition Video], December 1, 2020,  New-York Historical Society

Being Asians in America, 2022, Pew Research

Ugly History: Japanese American incarceration camps – Densho, October 1, 2019, Ted-Ed

Data Sources Sources of information in the video 

STAATUS Index 2022 Report, LAAUNCH and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)

20.6 Million People in the U.S. Identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, by Lindsay M. Monte and Hyon B. Shin, May 25, 2022, United States Census Bureau

4 U.S. Supreme Court Cases Where Asian Americans Fought For Civil Rights, by Suzanne Nuyen, May 27, 2021, NPR

Key Facts about Asian Americans, a diverse and growing population, by Abby Budiman and Neil G. Ruiz, April 29, 2021, Pew Research 

Asian Americans, various articles, Pew Research


Admissions & Arrivals, 2023, Refugee Processing Center

How Does the U.S. Refugee System Work?, by Claire Klobucista, James McBride, and Diana Roy, updated April 13, 2022, Council on Foreign Relations

Refugees and Asylees in the United States, by Kira Monin, Jeanne Batalova, and Tianjian Lai,  May 13, 2021, Migration Policy Institute

Southeast Asian Refugee Migration to the US, Linda W. Gordon, May 1987, Center for Migration Studies

Southeast Asian American Journeys, 2020, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Recommendations Books:

Driven Out: The Forgotten War against Chinese Americans, by Jean Pfaelzer, 2007 

The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics, by Mae Ngai, 2021


Research Guide and Resources:

Teachers Resource Portal, 1990 Institute 

Japanese American Incarceration Camp Research Guide, updated Aug 9, 2021, San Diego State University University Library

Chinese Americans in California, California State Library, California History Section

Japanese Americans in California, California State Library, California History Section

Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tool, Library of Congress 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Resource Guide For Washington State K-12 Schools, May 2001, State of Washington Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs 

Asian Pacific American Center, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC)

Hmong in Minnesota, Minnesota Historical Society

Exclusion or inclusion? The Japanese Struggle To Own Land In California, by Robbie See, National History Day


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