Law School - AOKI Center/History Department colloquium on Free People of Color: Race, Law and Freedom in the 19th and 20th Century U.S.
This book chapter explores the Philippine Commonwealth Government’s role in the success of the 1946 Luce-Celler Act’s provisions making Filipina/os eligible for U.S. citizenship for the first time. Drawing from U.S. and Philippine archives, it charts how Philippine officials championed the legislation as part of their preparations for Philippine independence after World War II. They recognized the importance of Filipina/o communities in the United States—and their remittances—to Philippine state-building after independence and sought to cultivate strong diasporic ties that transcended the limits of formal citizenship. As part of the longer transpacific movement to repeal Asian exclusion, the Philippine campaign speaks to the ambivalent relationship between Asian and Asian American freedom struggles, and exclusion and empire, in the postwar period.
Jane Hong is associate professor of history at Occidental College. She received her PhD in history from Harvard University and is the author of Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion, published by UNC Press in 2019. Her current project considers how post-1965 Asian immigration changed US evangelical institutions and politics. The book, under contract with Oxford University Press, connects two historical developments rarely considered together: the rise of the Religious Right and the demographic transformations of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.