Caged Birds Chapter Summary

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One of this week’s readings focused on Ch. 5, “Caged Birds,” in Professor Lytle Hernandez’s book City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965, and this chapter was particularly interesting because it further explained the development of immigration control in the United States. As a continuation from the last chapter, there was a huge emphasis in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Geary Act of 1892. This essentially prohibited Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States, as well as eventually requiring these people to comply with regulations. “Caged Birds” encapsulates the events afterwards, as the book heads well into the early-1900’s. The disenfranchisement of immigrants develops towards further exclusivity because “[by] 1917, Congress had banned all Asian immigration to the Unites States and also categorically prohibited all prostitutes, convicts, anarchists, epileptics, ‘lunatics,’ ‘idiots,’ contract laborers, and those ‘liable to become public charges’ from entering the United States” (Hernandez 132). This is significant because it is a reinforcement of the exclusive lifestyle of the patriarchal…show more content…
should be a misdemeanor and punishable through a $1,000 fine, as well as up to a year in prison. Those who unlawfully return to the U.S. after deportation will face the same amount in fine. However, they would potentially serve up to two years in prison, as it is a felony offense. The result of this was terrifying, as by 1939, there were 44,000 cases in regards to prosecutions for this type of offense (Hernandez 138). By this time, many Mexican immigrants ended up being arrested and imprisoned based on Senator Blease’s proposal. Second to liquor charges, immigration charges had the second-largest population of incarcerated people. This led to the three federal prisons (at the time) to become overcrowded (Hernandez

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