Born in 1882, Sei Fujii immigrated from Japan to California, enrolled at the University of Southern California Law School, graduated in 1911, and was denied admission to the practice of law. At the time, only people who were or could become U.S. citizens were eligible for admission. Since the Naturalization Act of 1790 only allowed “free white persons” to become naturalized citizens, Fujii could not become a citizen and could not be admitted.
The petition filed by the Little Tokyo Historical Society and the Japanese Bar Association is available here. APABA-MD was one of many who supported this petition.
Left, Sei Fujii.