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Senator Hiram Fong


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Does any poster know that the first Chinese (and first Asian) Senator Hiram Fong just passed away three months ago at the age of 97?

Senator Fong was famous in helping legislate the Immigration Act (with other Senators like Edward Kennedy) in 1962.

Before this legislation was enacted, the new immigrants came to US according to the quota formulated in the previous 1953 legislation.

In the Immigration Act passed in 1953, the number of new immigrants from each country was according to the number of immigrants that came before WWII.

In other words, it was heavily slanted towards the European immigrants.

But after 1962, every country has the same quota. It is only after 1962 that witnessed huge flow of Asian immigrants into US.

Every Asian American should thank Senator Fong.

And those from Taiwan and HK should thank Senator Fong more than the others.

Why? Because it was Senator Fong who insisted that Taiwan and HK had their own individual quota which were/are separate from Mainland China.

No other British colonies like HK in 1962 got its own individual quota.

Of course, the legislation was not perfect since a huge country like PRC has the same quota like any Carribean country. But it is still more fair than the previous Act.

I once met Senator Fong in the elevator 8 years ago. He even spoke Taishan dialect to me!

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