With a unanimous floor vote on October 6, Senate Resolution 201—“Expression of Regret for passage of discriminatory laws against the Chinese in America, including the Chinese Exclusion Act”—was approved in a bi-partisan move led Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The Committee of 100 is part of the 1882 Project Steering Committee, which spearheaded this Resolution and its companion in the House of Representatives.
1882 Project Steering Committee and organization team members with Sen.
Scott Brown (7th from right) and Rep. Judy Chu (6th from right). C-100
members Charles P. Wang and Michael Lin (3rd and 4th from left). [Photo
by Gino Wang]
The purpose of the Senate and House Resolutions is to acknowledge and express regret for legally sanctioned discrimination against Chinese during the Exclusion era, when the U.S. Congress passed a series of laws that singled out Chinese immigrants for exclusion and violated their civil rights.
“The 1882 Project deeply appreciates the leadership of Senator Brown and cosponsors of the resolution, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate for their unanimous consent of the resolution, and the Asian American community for their unwavering support,” said Michael Lin, Chair of the Steering Committee. “With this momentum, now the community has to step up to ensure the passage of the companion House Resolution 282. More importantly, we will continue educating the American public on the impact of these discriminatory laws on Asian American communities and their significance to all Americans.” Lin also acknowledged the crucial pro bono support of Covington & Burling, LLP for the 1882 Project.
Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) has led the Congressional initiative to introduce the two Resolutions and joined Senator Brown in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol on November 16 to celebrate the Senate’s achievement. In his remarks, Brown noted that one of his Massachusetts predecessors, Senator George Hoar, was the only Senator to oppose the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Chu said that “it is important that both Houses of Congress make their statement, since the Exclusion Acts were passed by both.” Lin presided over the reception, which was attended by 140 people, including C-100 member Charles P. Wang. C-100 Vice Chair Frank Wu sent a message read at the reception that praised the grassroots advocacy which so successfully initiated and promoted the Resolutions in Congress.
Committee members Charlie Woo, Benjamin Wu, and Frank Wu are actively involved in C-100 efforts to encourage more bi-partisan support from U.S. Representatives to advance H. Res. 282 in the House. Currently, the resolution is in the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), where it must be approved before it can come before the full House.
Woo said, “As we know, Chairs of Congressional committees have a lot of discretion. We would like to encourage C-100 members and others to reach out and advocate to Chairman Smith and members of the House Judiciary Committee for their support. We can provide the crucial link for the adoption of this resolution.” C-100 Chair Dominic Ng added, “As an expression of bipartisan collaboration, all members are encouraged to support the passage of H. Res. 282.”
The full text of the resolution, its progress in Congress and all co-sponsors can be found here.
The 1882 Project website includes this sample letter in support of H. Res. 282.