Favorable Immigration Legislation
Punjabis finally saw an improvement in their legal status as Americans and a slight population increase with the signing of the Luce-Celler Act in 1946. Punjabi and other Asian activists lobbied hard for this bill. It permitted them to become citizens and established a small quota for new immigration from Asian countries. Bigger changes came with the Immigration Act of 1965, the Hart-Celler Act, which allowed for a dramatic increase in immigration from Asian countries including India. The arrival of women, extended families, and skilled professionals led to a transformation of the Punjabi community.
PRESIDENT TRUMAN SIGNING THE LUCE-CELLAR ACT 1946
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- 1946 Luce-Cellar Act passed by U.S. Congress
- 1947 California's first mosque constructed in Sacramento
- 1947 Indian subcontinent wins independence from Britain
- 1947 India subcontinent was partitioned into two new countries, India and Pakistan with 17 million people fleeing across the border. More than one million lost their lives.
- 1948 Ban on interracial marriage lifted in California
- 1952 McCarran-Walter Act abolishes the 1917 Immigration Act
- 1956 Dalip Singh Saund elected to U.S. Congress
- 1956 California repeals the Alien Land Law
- 1961 First Sikh doctor starts practice in Yuba City
- 1965 Hart-Celler Act increases immigration quota to 20,000 per country
- 1969 Sikh temple built in Yuba City on Tierra Buena Road
- 1979 First Nagar Kirtan, a Sikh parade and community celebration, held in Yuba City.
- 1980 Refugee Act creates separate status for immigrant refugees
- 1984 Indian army storms the Golden Temple complex at Amritsar, causing major damage and the loss of thousands of innocent lives
- 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms (riots) caused many Sikhs to flee India and seek refuge in the America.
- 1990 Immigration Act increases total immigration quota to 700,000 per year
- 1993 Punjabi American Heritage Society established in Yuba City
- 1995 First Punjabi American Festival inaugurated to promote cultural understanding
- 1997 Sikh population of Yuba City/Marysville area reaches 9,000
- 2006 Two Punjabi Americans elected to City Council in Yuba City
- 2007 Punjabis considered major growers of peaches, prunes, almonds, walnuts and grapes in California
- 2009 Kash Gill becomes first Yuba City Mayor of Punjabi American orgin
Mehar Singh Tumber (1944)
Lachman Singh Thiara (1949)
Badur Dean Gorsi (1950s)
Karnail Singh Takhar (1954)
Sarwan Singh Boparai (1959)
Jagtar Singh Sidhu (1953)
Gurbax Singh Johl (1963)
Lakha Singh Chima (1953)
Jarnail Singh Purewal posing in front of his new car, Yuba City 1955. His father Milka S. Purewal came to the U.S. in the mid 1920s via Mexico, after being denied entry at San Francisco.
Harbhajan Singh Takher (1951)
Purewal Brothers - Bakhtawar Singh and Udham Singh (1950)
Bachan S Teja came to USA in 1920’s. His son Dev (Gurdev) Teja was elected District Attorney of Sutter County in 1962 and he later became a Municipal/ Superior Court Judge.