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    XENOPHOBIA 05: Former slave girl must abandon husband and baby

    On November 12, 1930, Canada’s supreme court ordered Gee Shu Moy, a 19-year-old former Vancouver slave girl, deported to central China. She must abandon not only her Canadian-born husband, Lim Fat Chung, but also either abandon her six-month-old son, a Canadian citizen, or raise him “in the poverty stricken confines” of her native village, the Toronto Globe reported.

    Gee Shu Moy’s story of hardship and exploitation started when she was 13. Wong Chung Fong, a Chinese resident of British Columbia, on a visit to what was also his native village, purchased her for $100, and brought her to Vancouver. He lied to the authorities, claiming that the girl was his daughter. That made her an illegal immigrant.

    In Vancouver, Gee was sent to work in a restaurant. Wong kept her wages. A year before her deportation order was confirmed by the Supreme Court, she fell in love with and married Lim, which made her a British subject, if not a Canadian citizen.

    Wong fought the marriage of his slave girl. He “immediately took action and charged Lim with abduction. The charge was dismissed in police court, but the incident was sufficient to bring the case to the attention of the immigration officials.

    “Gee was ordered to be deported, but her husband carried the appeal to Ottawa. After nine months the order was upheld, it being held that although she became a British subject through her marriage to Lim, that she had originally obtained her Canadian domicile illegally. (“What does a Chinese girl of 13 know of legality,” asked the Vancouver Province.)

    “Brought before Mr. Justice Gregory with her six-month-old son, Lim Hong Yip, cooing in her arms, the little slave girl was the object of many expressions of sympathy.

    “Justice Gregory said he regretted that he was prevented under the law from interfering, but elicited a promise from the counsel for the immigration department that the girl would not be deported until further representations had been made on her behalf in Ottawa.”

    “If she has to go,” said the Globe, “she is prepared to sacrifice the joy of the babe and leave him in the land where his future is assured.”

    The Province had a word of advice for the federal authorities who would make the final decision: “Don’t be a damn fool.”

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    TAGS: Xenophobia, Racism,Slavery, Exploitation, Illegal immigration, Deportation, Canada Supreme Court, Chinese, Gee Shu Moy.

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