DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


Forced Migration (Definition):
The International Organization for Migration defines forced migration as migratory movement in which an element of coercion exists, including threats to life and livelihood, whether arising from natural or man-made causes (e.g. movements of refugees and internally displaced persons as well as people displaced by natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine, or development projects).

SOURCE: http://www.iom.int/cms/en/sites/iom/home/about-migration/key-migration-terms-1.html#Forced-migration


“By the time the City of Vancouver was incorporated in 1886, Chinese settlement in the city was severely proscribed.  The senior levels of state had already intervened in the ‘Chinese question’ and ensured that by the mid-1880s, there would be limited on the participation of Chinese-origin people in political life…and their employment on public works. In 1885, after the completion of the trans-Canada railway, the federal government in Ottawa took a decisive step by imposing a head tax on Chinese entrants, and in 1903 Wilfrid Laurier’s administration raised it to an almost prohibitive level of $500. Thus by the time of Vancouver’s first municipal election in May 1886, when 60 Chinese-origin men were chased from the polls and denied the vote, a culture of race was fully respected in separate statutory provisions for ‘Chinese” by the provincial and federal administrations.”


Forced migration is apparent in this paragraph. To enforce a head count on Chinese entrants of $500, when the average yearly income of Americans in 1903 was $703, and a new home cost $2,200, it's obvious that the price of the tax was determined with the decision to make it as difficult as possible for Chinese to afford it in mind. 

Source for 1903 prices: http://local.aaca.org/bntc/mileposts/1903.htm






“Repeatedly, John Ridge tried to persuade John Ross that the Cherokee’s condition had become intolerable. It is clear that by 1832, both John Ridge and Elias Boudinott had concluded that removal was inevitable and that delaying the inevitable might destroy both the wealth and, more important, the more fiber of the nation. By November, 1834, their party concluded that with “all the unrelenting prejudices against our language and color in full force, we must believe that the scheme of amalgamation with our oppressors is too horrid for a serious contemplation…”

“…Whatever importance one may attach to outbreaks of antimissionary sentiment or to White Path’s abortive “rebellion” of 1827, it seems clear that the Cherokee could not devote themselves wholeheartedly to factional disputes over cultural alternatives until the late 1840’s and 1850’s, when they experienced a degree of relief from Washington’s recurrent threat to take their land away from them.”

Again, forced migration is obvious is you are constantly threatened that your land is going to be taken away from you. Especially if the only people who are receiving this threat are all the same race as you.



“The internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II remains one of the darkest moments in our country’s history.”

“What happened, the internees wondered, to the American dream? Was not this supposed to be the “melting pot,” the land of the free and the home of the brave? Japanese Americans were explicitly told that the simple fact of their ancestry would override any amount of patriotism. Those embittered by the internment denounced the country that they called home and returned to Japan in disgust and anger. Some chose the opposite route: they proved by their compliance with government orders that they were “good Americans”  It was not unusual to find a family in which one son actively renounced the United States and chose to go to Japan, and another earned medals by fighting for the United States in the 442nd  Regimental Combatant Team.”


Japanese Internment (definition)

The forced relocation of Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in the United States to camps during World War II. On February 19, 1942, the U.S. Army, acting under an order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (and ratified by Congress a month later), ordered nearly 120, 000 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans into internment camps located in the central regions of the United States.
Source: http://www.easynotecards.com/print_list/309
Again, the use of the word "forced."  If you are "forced" (by the President of the country, no less), to leave your home and live in a camp, this is indeed a forced migration.


Ghettoization (Definition):ghetto is a part of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure. The term was originally used in Venice to describe the part of a city to which Jews were restricted. Dictionaries list a number of possible origins for the originally Italian term, including "gheto" or "ghet", which means slag or waste in Venetian and was used in this sense in a reference to a foundry where slag was stored located on the same island as the area of Jewish confinement (the Venetian Ghetto) and borghetto, diminutive of borgo 'borough.'      



"...Their custom of living in quarters of their own--in Chinatown--is attended with evils, such as the depreciation of property, and owing to their habits of lodging in crowded quarters and accumulating filth, is offensive, if not likely to breed disease."

"...The Chinaman seems to be the same everywhere, and his Chinatown was 'an ulcer lodged like a piece of wood in the tissues of the human body, which unless treated must cause disease in the places around it and ultimately to the whole body.''  


This quote cracks me up, but not in a funny way, more in an infuriating way. Yes, according to this quote, Chinatown fits the description of a ghetto.  However, "owing to their habits of lodging in crowded quarters and accummulating filth,"--excuse me, are they living in these crowded quarters by choice? Unbelievable.

"...These premises are rooted in long-standing American conceptions of the poor--and particularly the black poor, as morally defective and of the city as a nefarious place that disrupts and corrupts social life, especially among the lower classes."

Again, another quote that kills me--"...a nefarious place that disrupts and corrupts social life, especially among the lower classes."  If someone is forced to live somewhere, and then you complain that it isn't a good place to live, whose fault is that?  It would be like forcing everyone in a particular neighborhood to eat nothing but peanut butter sandwiches, and then complaining that the neighborhood stunk of peanuts.


"...Both sexes should discover how to count their money and read understandingly in the New Testament. Thus might sloth give way to industry; and magic, superstition, heathen dance and conjuring to reason, reflection, and revealed religion. Thus might American natives become model Americans."

Again, the insult implied in this quote is ridiculous. "Magic, superstition and heathen dance," whereas in another "approved" race these might be called charming cultural traditions.


Page Three:  Explain how these processes are related (forced migration and ghettoization).

I believe forced migration and ghettoization pretty much go hand in hand. It seems very obvious to me that if you force someone to leave their home and go live in a very close, uncomfortable space with many other miserable people, you will soon have a ghetto. There is going to be no pride in your living quarters, only embarassment and shame. Families are not going to take care of their homes, as they would when given freedom of choice. You ask what do Chinese immigrants, the Cherokee the Japanese and African Americans have in common?  Nothing except that they are minorities that have been persecuted.  There is deep psychological damage going on, besides the surface damage. If you force people out of their homes and tell them (in essence): "We think you are worthless to society. You can't enjoy the same freedoms other people do. If you want to stay in this country, you'll have to live in this tiny space we have allotted to you." There is no joy, no happiness. There will be no desire to keep your space clean and lovely (and if you did, I imagine other bitter people living alongside you would ruin it out of anger.) I actually think the surest way to create a ghetto would be to start with forced migration.


“Three Pernicious Premises in the Study of the American Ghetto.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 21-2 (June 1997), “Events and Debate”: pages 341-353.


Young, Mary. "The Cherokee Nation: Mirror of the Republic." The Johns Hopkins University Press 33.5 (1981): pages 502-24. 


Anderson, Kay J. "The Idea of Chinatown." Association of American Geographers 77.4 (1987): pages 580-98.


Kuramitsu, Kristine C. "Internment and Identity in Japanese American Art."  The Johns Hopkins University Press 4.5 (1995): pages 619-58. 


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.