WASHINGTON, DC, July 2, 2012 — In connection with passage last October of Senate Resolution 201, expressing regret for the Chinese exclusion laws, Covington & Burling’s Martin Gold penned "Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History," a book that for the first time traces the timeline and background of those laws. Acting pro bono on behalf of the Chinese-American community, Covington helped to secure adoption of S. Res. 201, and most recently House Resolution 683.
In Forbidden Citizens, slated for publication on July 4, 2012, Mr. Gold documents the legislative debates and actual texts of the nine exclusion measures, quoting both supporters and opponents of the bills in full detail.
Rep. John Kasson (R-IA) in 1882 described the series of laws, passed by Congress between 1879 and 1943, as “one of the most vulgar forms of barbarism.” The exclusion laws severely restricted the immigration of Chinese persons to the United States and violated the civil rights of Chinese immigrants already living in America.
“The distress Congress caused for multiple generations of Chinese—those who were directly affected as well as their families—is still real,” writes Mr. Gold, co-chair of Covington’s government affairs practice, who led the effort to help gain congressional support for both Senate and House resolutions. “Shedding light on the past helps to ensure that such miscarriages do not recur.”
Mr. Gold has over 35 years of legislative experience in the public and private sectors and has authored several books on the Senate, including most recently The Grand Institution — An Introduction to the United States Senate. In 2003, Mr. Gold served as Floor Advisor and Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, assisting him with floor procedure and strategy. He also was counsel to Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. As a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Mr. Gold spearheaded official recognition of Feng Shan Ho, a Chinese diplomat who saved thousands of Austrian Jews from the Holocaust.
For more information about Forbidden Citizens, please go to http://ForbiddenCitizens.com.
Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm, provides corporate, litigation, and regulatory expertise to enable clients to achieve their goals. Founded in 1919, the firm has more than 800 lawyers and offices in Beijing, Brussels, London, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.