With an average of more than 3.35 million searches per month in the United States, Chinese immigrants, excluded from most jobs due to virulent discrimination, found work in cities mainly working as servants, in laundries or opening restaurants that offered home and takeaway food. The China Exclusion Act of 1882 marked a sharp turn in the history of Chinese immigration, as it suspended Chinese workers from immigrating to the United States. Today, the Chinese-American Restaurant Association states that there are more than 45,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, more than the number of McDonald's, Burger Kings, Kentucky Fried Chickens and Wendy's combined. The Geary Act is signed to expand the Chinese exclusion law by requiring Chinese people in the United States to have a residence permit.
The harsh legislation against Chinese immigrants in the United States began with California's mining tax against foreigners and the 1852 effort to restrict the “introduction of Chinese and other Asians,” and culminated in 1882 with the passage of the China Exclusion Act, which prohibited all Chinese workers from entering the United States. In 1943, positive feelings towards Chinese immigrants, largely derived from the new role of Americanized Chinese cuisine, culminated in the Magnuson Act, which repealed Chinese exclusion laws. NYPL menu data supports this trend, as the slight upward trend of unique Chinese dishes from the mid-1910s to the mid-1930s seems to be related to the introduction of these Chinese-American dishes. The New York Public Library's restaurant menu collection includes approximately 45,000 menus dating back to the 1840s that reveal the nature of this evolution through more than 60 Chinese restaurant menus and more than 6000 Chinese dishes.
Every day on the lunar calendar, it seems like there's nothing better than good Chinese food for all Americans. This alienated the American public from developing a genuine understanding of Chinese culture and, at the same time, did nothing to resolve deep-seated prejudices against Chinese individuals (Jung, 201).