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  • David Glenn Hunt Memorial Library

    Citizenship and Naturalization

    Citizenship and naturalization was a diverse and complicated process for many Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, which still has effects today. Many Asian and Pacific communities established in America were denied citizenship or naturalization because of their race or country of origin. To further complicate this, territories such as Guam, American Samoa, the Philippines, and Hawaii had been annexed by the United States in the late 19th century. This was often done without providing those already living there the same rights to citizenship and naturalization as afforded to other Americans.


    Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders faced many different forms of discrimination throughout their history in the United States. Most notably were unfair taxes based on nationality, school segregation, lack of representation in the legal process, and a lack of labor rights.

    Labor Rights and Civil Rights of the 1960s and 1970s

    While different communities inherently had very different experiences and challenges with racism and discrimination in America, Asian and Pacific Americans were facing some of the same issues as other minorities during the mid-twentieth century. This led to many instances of intersecting activism during the civil rights era. Activists and leaders from the AAPI community and the African American community often worked together to support initiatives and labor movements such as with the ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Unions).

    Sources: History of Asian Americans - Wikipedia, Pacific Islander Americans -Wikipedia, Asian American Milestones: Timeline -