When US politicians wanted to build a wall - to keep out the Chinese

President Donald Trump's vow to deny citizenship to children born in the United States to women in the country illegally not only harks back to the 1898 Supreme Court case that supposedly decided the issue for all time,but he and the rest of his immigration allies also sound like the very people back then who made it their goal to make America white.

When Chinese American cook Wong Kim Ark returned from China to San Francisco, the city of his birth, in August 1895, he was denied entry into the US on the grounds that even though he had been born in America, the chief immigration official of the US didn't believe he could be both Chinese and American.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2018, with the headline 'When US politicians wanted to build a wall - to keep out the Chinese'. Print Edition | Subscribe