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  • From Importation of Slaves to Migration of Laborers: The Struggle to Outlaw American Participation in the Chinese Coolie Trade and the Seeds of United States Immigration Law

    It is often assumed that the first federal law regulating voluntary immigration into the United States was the Act of March 3, 1875 (known as the Page Law) which excluded prostitutes and convicts. The Page Law provided that non-U.S. citizens who were serving sentences for felony convictions, other than for political offenses, could not enter the United States. Also excluded were women seeking entry for the "purposes of prostitution. These were the first of many grounds for excluding foreigners.