Within history Asian's eligible for citizenship were considered to be a privileged. However, Asian Americans did not simply perceive citizenship as the right to vote or carry a passport but moreover the rightful membership in society – a membership that carries with it certain rights, loyalties, and duties. Unfortunately for Asian Americans, race has shaped the politics of membership and the determination of rights, loyalties, and duties for Asians Americans – acquisition of citizenship would not come easily. Thus, Asian Americans constructed several strategies to protest this inequality: community formations and identity constructions.
The Asian American conception of citizenship included a sense of equality that seemed unobtainable. The diction and tone of subordination in Manuel Buaken's recollection of the First Filipino Infantry to gain citizenship in 1943 conveys the futility of American citizenship – prejudice and racism distorted the sense of U.S. nationalism within Asian Americans. Buaken's quotation of the post's public relations officer's description of the ceremony reveals indirectly the fragmentation of citizenship – "They are waiting at this moment for the only reward that they have asked – citizenship – real live nephews of the Uncle Sam they revere". (Filipino Regiment Member Manuel Buaken Fights for Freedom, 290 – 291) Despite the peril endured by the Filipino Infantry to aid American they were merely considered nephews of Uncle Sam – a menial status of citizenship unequivalent to common Americans. Furthermore, in the ceremonies closing speech Judge Welsh would quote, "Citizenship came to us who were born here as a heritage – it will come to you as a privilege". (Filipino Regiment Member Manuel Buaken Fights for Freedom, 291) Implicit is a sense that the benefits of citizenship are integrated with race; America's repression of Asiatic citizenship denotes that the Infa…