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Social Science Discrimination & Race Relations

Not Fit to Stay

Public Health Panics and South Asian Exclusion

by (author) Sarah Isabel Wallace

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2016
Discrimination & Race Relations, 20th Century, Emigration & Immigration
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2017
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


In the early 1900s, panic over the arrival of South Asian immigrants swept up and down the west coast of North America. While racism and fear of labour competition were at the heart of this furor, Not Fit to Stay reveals that public leaders – including physicians, union leaders, civil servants, journalists, and politicians – latched on to unsubstantiated public health concerns to justify the exclusion of South Asians from Canada and the United States.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Sarah Isabel Wallace, PhD, is a lecturer in history at Trent University in Oshawa, Ontario. While a graduate student, she was awarded a Donald S. Rickerd Fellowship in Canadian–American studies. Her work has been published in the Canadian Historical Review and BC Studies.

Editorial Reviews

Not Fit to Stay acquaints modern readers with the “hookworm strategy” of immigration law. The facts are raw. Historian Dr. Isabel Wallace is a skillful writer. The effect is startling. If bigotry is rooted in fear and economic despair, Wallace’s research proves even the mildest society is capable of devising something akin to the Nuremberg Laws … Not Fit To Stay is an extraordinary story, meticulously documented.

Blacklock's Reporter

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