Because they were forbidden from owning land, intermarrying with Whites, owning homes, working in many occupations, getting an education, and living in certain parts of the city or entire cities, the Chinese basically had no other choice but to retreat into their own isolated communities as a matter of survival.
These first Chinatown (started in San Franciso in 1848) at least allowed them to make a living among themselves. This is where the stereotypical image of Chinese restaurants and laundry shops, gardeners and produce stands.
"These immigrants were paid lower wages than white workers, who then blamed Chinese laborers for driving down pay and taking away jobs."
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