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An American Hero Who Fought For Birthright US Citizenship. By Roger Algase

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During this Thanksgiving weekend we should all give thanks to a great but little known American, who fought heroically to uphold his right to US citizenship by birth in this country, and to whom every person born in America now owes his or her citizenship, regardless of race, color or parent's country of origin. I refer to Wong Kim Ark, the American-born son of Chinese immigrants, who courageously and successfully sued the US government to prevent it from denying him citizenship rights because of his ethnicity and national origin. Because of his determination and refusal to let his citizenship be taken away from him because of his Chinese parentage, everyone today who was born in the United States can be be secure of his US citizenship rights.

I will now outline his story and that of the US Supreme Court case which bears his name, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898).

The following is based in part on a December, 2009 extract from the website: asian american pop culture

http://jgasampop.blogspot.com/2009/1...-ark-v-us.html

Wong Kim Ark (Toisanese: Wong Gim 'Ak; Cantonese: Wong Gam Dak; Mandarin: Huang Jin De) was born in San Francisco. sometme between 1868 and 1873. His father, Wong Si Ping and his mother, Wee Lee, were immigrants from Taishan, China and were not US citizens. Under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese immigrants were barred from becoming US citizens.

This racial bar to US citizenship was subsequently extended to all Asians. Professor Frank H. Wu, Chancellor and Dean of Hastings College of Law, writes:

"In the 1920's, the Supreme Court confirmed that Japanese and Asian Indians were not 'free white persons' and could not naturalize."

See, Wu, Born in the U.S.A. (2007)

http://02e1137.netsolhost.com/Villag...itizenship.asp

To be continued.

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