Immigrants' Rights: 1886

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Yick Wo laundryYick Wo laundryIn Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a San Francisco ordinance requiring operators of laundries in wooden buildings to obtain approval from the Board of Supervisors to stay in business. Not coincidentally, Chinese laundries operate in wooden buildings. This is the first U.S. Supreme Court decision to state that the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment apply to non-citizens, and that a law that is impartial on its face but is enforced in a discriminatory manner is unconstitutional.