On December 23, 1910, the S.S. Mongolia arrived at the Port of Honolulu with 119 Filipinos aboard. The treatment of these passengers resulted in vigorous debates about Filipino labor mobility that impacted U.S.-Philippine relations, Hawaiian business needs, and health policies, as well as continental U.S. labor and sugar interests. From January through April 1911, officials in Washington, D.C., and the Philippines worked hard to stem fears about the health of Filipinos and maintain both the flow of these workers to Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Philippine political-legal relationship. Despite extensive regional protests, the acquisition of labor for sugar plantations and the preservation of U.S.-Philippine colonial ties ended up prevailing over nativist fears about the health and growing numbers of Filipinos in the United States.

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