Asian Immigrant Life! Task #3

By Blake Sammons

Li Keng Wong! Her Immigration Story!

Li Keng Wong was a Chinese girl whose family was not doing so great in her home Country. Her father had decided to immigrate to the United States when he saw that he needed the money and there were few jobs in the small town of Goon Do Hung. He was the only one who first went and he often sent the money home for his family and widowed mother. Yet she was not born yet when he immigrated to the U.S. In her young age, she was always acting like a boy, doing things girls wouldn't normally do. Her father came back for visits when she was young but his worked forced him to come back after a short period of time. But when he did return for his visits, he became somewhat sad at how poor the villagers were. One visit had made his mid say that he needed to immigrate his family to the United States. She was still young when her family decide to immigrate, only 7 years of age. Her father had sent coaching papers so they knew what to do when they got to Angel Island. He made it very clear that they must not make a slip up or they would be sent back. They were with many other Chinese people over the voyage because if the Chinese Exclusion Act. Even before the voyage, they traveled by boat, foot, and train just to get to Hong Kong. They stayed there for two days before they were off. It was busy and they ran into many different kinds of people but it was also their first experience with the English language. When they were ready they boarded a big ship called the U.S.S. Hoover. The voyage lasted for 19 days and when they got to San Francisco, they got off to board the ferry that went to Angel Island. When they got to Angel Island, it was very crowded even though it was night and they were the new arrivals. They had to go to Angel Island without there father since he had already immigrated. Angel Island was segregated by men and women. But they were worried about being deported, and they had also heard stories that people committed suicide rather than being sent back in shame. On the island, the were not treated kindly from the people. But then the day came, they were finally asked, her mom a full day, her sister a half a day, and herself for two hours. Then they were released, gladly into the U.S. they were so relieved. After their release, they headed to Oakland to restart their lives. It was an easy journey to get there which made them even happier. They went to American schools as well as Chinese schools where they saw many other Chinese children. Her father later opened his own restaurant, during World War II. Her whole family worked there and they gained a lot of money over the time. Enough to buy an actual house. Since all of this happened, she refused to talk about Angel Island for 50 years but to this day she is living a good life with her children and grandchildren.

Citations! Blake Sammons!

Works Cited


Family Portrait in 1944. Li Keng Is Second from Left. (Photo Courtesy of Li Keng Wong). N.d. N.p.


Li Keng and Her Husband Roger with Their Children and Grandchildren in 2001. (Photo Courtesy of Li Keng Wong). N.d. Li Keng Wong Detained | Angel Island | Asian American Heritage | Scholastic.com. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

Li Keng Wong. N.d. N.p.