South Asian Indian immigrants initially entered the United States as laborers, following the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Recruited initially by Canadian-Pacific railroad companies, a few thousand Sikh immigrants from the Punjabi region immigrated to Canada which, like India, was part of the British empire.
Later, many migrated into the Pacific Northwest and California and became farm laborers. Ironically decried as a "Hindu invasion" by exclusionists and white labor, the "tide of the Turbans" was outlawed in 1917 when Congress declared that India was part of the Pacific-Barred Zone of excluded Asian countries.
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