Through the Freedom of Information act, the filmmakers obtained court transcripts and government files from the Justice Department, State Department, Treasury Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service. They also conducted over one hundred oral histories and interviews in New York and San Francisco with Chinese Americans who had faced persecution and harassment.
CHINESE HAND LAUNDRY ALLIANCE CHINESE HAND LAUNDRY ALLIANCE (CHLA) was formed in 1933 to aid the Chinese community in overcoming their difficulties in their new country. As an organization it was successful in winning cases to protect the rights of Chinese immigrants. For twenty five cents a member or non-member was able to engage the help of the CHLA.
CHINA DAILY NEWS CHINA DAILY NEWS was started by members of CHLA in 1940. It was a pro-Chinese Communist newspaper during the McCarthy years and as a result, suffered much harassment. In 1952, the CDN was tried for violating the Trading with the Enemy Act. The Editor, Eugene Moy, the officers of the newspaper (three laundry workers) were sent to jail for accepting an ad from a People's Republic of China (PRC) bank urging Chinese Americans to send money home to their relatives in China through the bank.
MUN CHING MUN CHING (Chinese American Democratic Youth League) was a group in San Francisco that consisted mostly of young Chinese immigrants who were harassed by the FBI for having a "pro-PRC" bent. Former members describe the activities of the group as a place where they could learn English, study or do homework together, as well as to work for the normalization of relations between the U.S. and China.
NEW YORK CHINATOWN NEW YORK CHINATOWN: primarily a "bachelor" community in the 1940s and 1950s. Over half of the Chinese population worked in the laundry industry. Due to the Immigration Act of 1965, the numbers of Chinese greatly increased by recent immigration from Hong Kong, Taiwan and now the People's Republic of China. New York is a predominantly first generation immigrant community; however, Chinese do not live directly in the Chinatown areas, but live in the metropolitan area.
SAN FRANCISCO CHINATOWN SAN FRANCISCO CHINATOWN is the oldest and largest population of Chinese in the United States. The community is comprised of several generations of Chinese Americans embracing a wide spectrum of political and social organizations. Chinese Americans are highly visible and represent an important electoral constituency in California.