Vietnamese American - History


The history of Vietnamese Americans is a fairly recent one. Prior to 1975, most Vietnamese residing in the United States were wives and children of American servicemen in Vietnam or academia. Records show a that a very sparse group arrived to work in various menial jobs during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including future Vietnamese politician Ho Chi Minh. However, their numbers were insignificant. According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization services, only 650 Vietnamese arrived from 1950 to 1974 (as immigrants, excluding those who came as students, diplomats or military trainees.) The Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975—which ended the Vietnam War—prompted the first large-scale wave of immigration from Vietnam. Many people who had close ties with the Americans or with the then Republic of Vietnam government feared the promised communist reprisals. During the spring of 1975, 125,000 of them left South Vietnam. Generally highly-skilled and educated, they were airlifted by the U.S. government to bases in the Philippines and Guam, and were subsequently transferred to refugee centers in the United States.

South Vietnamese refugees initially faced resentment by Americans following the turmoil and upheaval of the Vietnam War. A poll taken in 1975 showed only 36 percent of Americans were in favor of Vietnamese immigration. However, President Gerald Ford and other officials strongly supported Vietnamese immigration and passed the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act in 1975, which allowed Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States under a special status. To prevent the refugees from forming ethnic enclaves and to minimize their impact on local communities, they were scattered all over the country. Within a few years, however, many had resettled in California and Texas.

A second wave of Vietnamese refugees began in 1978 and lasted until the mid-1980s. South Vietnamese —especially former military officers and government employees—were sent to Communist "reeducation camps," and about two million people fled Vietnam in small, unsafe, crowded fishing boats. These "boat people" were generally lower on the socioeconomic ladder than those in the first wave. Vietnamese escaping by boat usually ended up in asylum camps in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, or the Philippines, from which they were allowed to enter countries that agreed to accept them.

Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, reducing restrictions on entry, while the communist Vietnamese government established the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in response to world outcry, allowing people to leave legally for family reunions and for humanitarian reasons. Additional American laws allowed the children of American servicemen and former political prisoners and their families to enter the United States. A peak in Vietnamese immigration was in 1992, when many individuals in communist reeducation camps were released or sponsored by their families to come to the United States. Between 1981 and 2000, the United States accepted 531,310 Vietnamese political refugees and asylum seekers.

Read more about this topic:  Vietnamese American

Other articles related to "history":

Spain - History - Fall of Muslim Rule and Unification
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
Casino - History of Gambling Houses
... that gambling in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... and Romans to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...
History of Computing
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk and slate ...
Voltaire - Works - Historical
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... II (1754) Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
Xia Dynasty - Modern Skepticism
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the traditional story of its early ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...

Famous quotes containing the word history:

    In history as in human life, regret does not bring back a lost moment and a thousand years will not recover something lost in a single hour.
    Stefan Zweig (18811942)

    All history becomes subjective; in other words there is properly no history, only biography.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    You that would judge me do not judge alone
    This book or that, come to this hallowed place
    Where my friends’ portraits hang and look thereon;
    Ireland’s history in their lineaments trace;
    Think where man’s glory most begins and ends
    And say my glory was I had such friends.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)