Vietnamese Immigration Essay

795 WordsDec 17, 20134 Pages
6/25/12 Paper One Vietnamese Immigration Supposedly, the history of Vietnamese immigration to the United States is “relatively recent.” (Povell) Prior to 1975, most Vietnamese residing in the US were wives and children to American servicemen in Vietnam. In 1975, the ‘Fall of the Saigon’ marked the end of the Vietnam War, which prompted the first of two main waves of Vietnamese emigration towards the US. The first wave included Vietnamese who had helped the US in the war and “feared reprisals by the Communist party.” (Povell) According to Povell, the US airlifted - or otherwise transported - 125,000 Vietnamese during the Spring of 1975, as part of “Operation New Life.” The Vietnamese immigrants were brought to US government bases…show more content…
That is why this group of Vietnamese immigrants became known as the “boat people.” Supposedly, most of the “boat people” fled to asylum camps in “Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines or Hong Kong and awaited acceptance by foreign countries.” (Povell) To further assist Vietnamese refugees, Congress passed an act in 1980 called the Refugee Act. It reduced restrictions on entry to the US and provided an official definition of a refugee. It also set the number of refugee admissions at 50,000 per year and allowed a refugee that stayed in the US for 1 year to become a permanent resident. Finally, after four years, the Act allowed refugees to become a United States citizen. On a side note, addition laws were passed that allowed children of American servicemen to enter the United States. In total, the United States accepted “531,310 refugees and asylum seekers from Vietnam between 1981 and 2000.” (Povell) In the US, the Vietnamese immigrants were ‘accommodated’ in the following ways: 9 voluntary agencies existed whose job was to “coordinate the refugee’s eventual resettlement with local sponsors into communities throughout the United States.” (Povell) Voluntary churches and families sponsored Vietnamese families with food, clothing and
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