Negotiating Protection

Lisa Rose Mar

in Brokering Belonging

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199733132
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866533 | DOI:
Negotiating Protection

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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One of the most curious aspects of anti-Chinese policies was officials’ practice of hiring immigrant Chinese interpreters, thus foiling exclusionary laws. The clash of two titans, Yip On and David Lew, shows how political alliances across racial lines compromised enforcement of anti-Chinese immigration policies. The study of interpreters and the politics through which they won, held, and lost their posts reveals a new understanding of how immigration policy was made. As an ethnic collaborator, the interpreter engaged in policy-making from a distinctive position. He had a duty to carry out the mandates of Parliament, but he gained political leadership from supporters who viewed anti-Chinese laws as illegitimate.

Keywords: Chinese Canadians; immigration policy; Chinese Head Tax; interpreters; law; political patronage; Exclusion Era; Chinese exclusion; illegal immigration; Chinese diaspora

Chapter.  13726 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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