RIP Tyrus Wong, unsung Chinese-American Disney legend who had to lie to come to America and save his life

Originally published at:


QMFT, and it can’t be emphasized enough that the “get in line” crowd is being disingenuous because there simply isn’t a legal path for anyone without connections. This chart is from a while back, but I’m guessing things are only getting worse:


Not sure I agree with your conclusion. There is in fact a legal path for immigration into the United States; however, due to legal complexity and the sheer number of applicants, the success of any given applicant is unlikely.

I’m unsure of what the optimal solution to this issue would look like, but I doubt that the celebration of unlawful immigration will win much support from existing U.S.citizens.

We can at least take some solace in the fact that the U.S. has a system of legal immigration. Anyone familiar with the odds of becoming a naturalized Japanese citizen? Yeah, good luck with that.

Very interesting. Never heard of him before last night, and I feel that I am more than casually aware of artists working for Dysney at that time. Did they try to cover up his involvement?

I found this interesting article on him with some examples of his Bambi artwork:


The large majority of people I work with came here legally without connections. Most started on H1-B or earlier skilled worker visas, and eventually got green cards and in some cases citizenship. That said, I think that the H1-B program is wrong on a lot of levels, and if we really need someone’s skills, they should get a green card directly.

1 Like

Yes, fuck 2016, but the guy was 106, I mean hardly out of the blue tragic.

that job could have gone to a hard working white american without any talent.


I know tons of people (including family) who are/were here on h1s of various sorts, artists visas j series visas and people who’ve come in through the whole apply for visa come over blind sort of way.

And frankly for the work related visas you already have to have the job. You might be hired specifically for a visa job but job comes first. So too student and research visas. Already accepted and enrolled, coming over for a specific fixed research project. Leave school, leave job, lose visa. There’s your “connections” right there. Artist visas require you to already be successful and notable as well as have a plausible reason for working in the US. If you’re not you have to come in on a sub visa connected to someone who is. And you have to show that you’re an essential part of their work.

In all cases you need a sponsor or something similar, especially once it comes to applying for the greencard. There are regular trips home before getting a green card in most cases to renew the visa. Once you apply for the green card you cant leave the US for any reason or you have to start over fresh. Everyone I know keeps an immigration lawyer on retainer, even if its provided by an employer or school. The one, one person I know who’s successfully come over through the visa lottery system and navigated it to citizenship only got his visa in the first place because he served with a US marine platoon as part of an Italian military unit. Just qualifying to apply for a green card can take a decade. Getting through that process is multiple years, with no guarantee of success. Getting citizenship after that is also many years.

Frankly it’s not something you can or will be able to do without money and people in the US. It’s next to impossible to do it right otherwise. And in any situation you spend a decade or more in a legal limbo where one mis-filed piece of paperwork, one trip home for a funeral, one financial set back sees you deported or starting over from scratch. It’s insane. And it’s relatively new. When my grandfather came here in the 50s it wasn’t nearly as complex or time consuming.


We are celebrating the contributions of the immigrants themselves, and lamenting the system that forced those immigrants to come here unlawfully.


The 1883 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1924 Asian Exclusion Act were specifically written to keep Chinese and later other non-white people from immigrating to the United States, and set quotas limiting annual immigrants from many ethnic groups or countries to a small percent of the number of them already in the US, so as to avoid diluting the mainly Anglo-Saxon-German-Scots-Irish ethnicity.

This wasn’t about legal complexity and sheer number of applicants, this was about unabashedly racist immigration laws designed to deny a legal path for immigration. After I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve met a number of Chinese-Americans who say “My family’s been here for five generations, I don’t speak Chinese, and if I did it would be the wrong dialect” (because almost all current Chinese immigrants speak at least some Mandarin, while most of the Gold Rush / railroad labor immigrants spoke Cantonese or other southern dialects.) It took me a while to realize that this was because of the Chinese Exclusion Act (if you hadn’t been here five generations, you or your parents were post-Mao and learned Mandarin in school, and there’s almost nobody in between.)


From the likewise exceptionally talented, creative(ly demented) mind of Ron Jarzombek…

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.