Even though the U.S. wasn't what they expected it to be, they decided to stay there. Yao's father kept working as a merchant and she went looking for employment since she was an adult and had recently finished school.
They usually stayed near people like them since it was easier. They didn't know much English but they did fine when around other people from China.
Eventually, she found work as a launderer. Her brother did the same so they could bring home extra money.
(Yao is 22 and her brother is 3 years older than her.)
In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. It was passed by U.S. President Chester A Arthur and it prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years.
This was both expected and unexpected to Yao's family. The Chinese Exclusion Act contradicted the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 which guaranteed the right of immigration but not naturalization.
In 1888, The Scott Act was passed. It prohibited the Chinese from re-entering the United States after temporary leave. This means that they were forced to either stay in the U.S. or leave without ever returning.
Yao's father could no longer go in and out of America and they couldn't visit the other members of their family that had stayed behind.
Yao's family had to resort to sending over letters and money.
Eventually, the 10 years were over and it seemed as if the Chinese Exclusion Act would be lifted.
Because of the Geary Act, all Chinese residents had to carry a resident permit. If they didn't they could get deported or be forced to do hard labor for a year.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The Chinese Exclusion Act had been extended because of the Geary Act that was passed on May 5, 1892.
Yao and her family decided to stay in America despite the discrimination and hardships.