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Eventually, as the numbers of immigrants from Asia began to swell in the mid- and late-1800s, the native White population increasingly began to view their presence in the U.S. with hostility. Objections were raised concerning perceived economic competition with native U.S. workers that Asian immigrants supposedly posed, along with doubts over whether Asians were cultural and racially compatible with mainstream American society.
This nativist and xenophobic backlash, popularly characterized as the "anti-Chinese movement," eventually led to several pieces of legislation at the local, state, and federal levels, culminating with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. These laws restricted the rights and activities of first, Chinese immigrants, then later broadened to include virtually all subsequent immigrants from Asia. Included in these restrictive laws were anti-miscegenation provisions that prevented Asians from marrying Whites.
These anti-miscegenation laws were first passed in the 1600s to prevent freed Black slaves from marrying Whites. Later versions added persons of Asian origin or ancestry to the list of groups forbidden to marry Whites. While early examples of such anti-miscegenation laws singled out those of "Mongoloid" origin specifically, they were later amended to include Filipinos (who claimed that they were of "Malay" origin) and Asian Indians (who characterized themselves as "Aryan" in origin).