These two documents reflect the contrast between the ideals of American immigration and more restrictive, exclusionary attitudes and laws many immigrants faced.
Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in response to a vocal anti-Chinese movement in the western United States. Virtually all immigration from China stopped. The act was repealed in 1943.
National Archives, General Records of the U.S. Government
Statue of Liberty Deed of Gift, 1884
"Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from France to the United States. At the statue's base, Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus" speaks of the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
National Archives, General Records of the Department of State