Hastings Environmental Law Journal Article By Marangoni-Simonsen Explores Exclusionary Citizenship Laws In Monterey County, California – General Immigration


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“A Forgotten History: How the Asian American Workforce
Cultivated Monterey County’s Agricultural Industry, Despite
National Anti-Asian Rhetoric”

Hastings Envt’l L.J. 229 (2021)

Dominique Marangoni-Simonsen (Associate-San Francisco) analyzes
the implementation of exclusionary citizenship laws against Chinese
and Japanese immigrants from 1880 to 1940 in her 2021 article,
“A Forgotten History: How the Asian American Workforce
Cultivated Monterey County’s Agricultural Industry, Despite
National Anti-Asian Rhetoric,” which appeared in the 2021
edition of Hastings Environmental Law Journal. She further
analyzes the application of these exclusionary mechanisms to the
Asian immigrant populations in Monterey County, California.
Dominique identifies how the agricultural industry in Monterey
County circumvented these exclusion laws in favor of the labor
force of Japanese immigrants. She compares the acceptance of
Japanese laborers to the decimation of the Chinese fishing industry
in Monterey County, and the subsequent eradication of Chinese
culture. Finally, the paper analyzes the retroactive effects of
these laws to the Feast of Lanterns* festival, which inadequately
characterized that Chinese culture due to a “white” lens.
In summation, this paper discusses the varied exclusionary
mechanisms of Asian Americans: the violent methods to prevent
Chinese and Filipino immigrant assimilation, and the relative
acceptance of Japanese immigrants due to their dutiful labor in the
agricultural industry, using Monterey, California as a case study,
and finally how the achievement of Chinese exclusion is reflected
in a manifestly amnestic history of Asian Americans in
Monterey.

* A subsequent article containing an interview with Dominique by
the Monterey County Weekly along with a
collective push against the Feast of Lanterns, led to Monterey
County halting the event in February 2022 and issuing an apology to
the Chinese community in April 2022. See more news related to the festival.

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