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Brokering BelongingChinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945$
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Lisa Rose Mar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733132.001.0001

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Negotiating Protection

Negotiating Protection

Illegal Immigration and Party Machines

Chapter:
(p.15) One Negotiating Protection
Source:
Brokering Belonging
Author(s):

Lisa Rose Mar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733132.003.0002

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

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