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Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Nevertheless, the majority of Southeast Asian Americans shares a common immigration history, which is the legacy of U.

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This catastrophic conflict devastated Vietnam, and destroyed neighboring Laos and Cambodia in the process. The U. Unlike other Asian immigrants who preceded them, the majority of Southeast Asian Americans entered the United States as refugees.

See step-by-step what refugees must do to enter U.S.

Between and , the United States received over 1,, refugees from Southeast Asia, of which 66 percent were from Vietnam, 21 percent from Laos, and 13 percent from Cambodia. Prior to the first wave of refugees in the mids, the first documented Southeast Asian immigrants arrived in the s and early s. This population of mainly Vietnamese immigrants was small in number—only a little over 18,—and mostly consisted of university students, diplomats, and wives of American servicemen who entered the country as the war escalated.

Dramatic changes in U. Between and , the United States admitted over , persons arriving from Southeast Asia. Though not all Americans welcomed the refugees, Congress strongly supported their plight, granting them "parole" status to enter the United States, and allocations to aid in their resettlement. About 95 percent of these first wave refugees came from Vietnam, with the remaining 5 percent from Cambodia.

The majority were. The second wave of refugees — involved two groups: the "land people" from Cambodia and Laos, and the " boat people " from Vietnam. Coming from more diverse backgrounds and social circumstances, refugees in the second wave risked their lives to escape the harsh conditions they confronted under newly installed communist governments. Persecuted and considered traitors by the Laotian communist government for aiding Americans during the war, the Hmong were forced to leave their homeland, and an estimated , people escaped by crossing the Mekong River to refugee camps in Thailand.

Between and , the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot , who ordered the mass execution of "unwanted" bourgeois elements in Cambodian society, instigated a mass exodus.

By the end of , conditions were so atrocious that approximately , Cambodians were living in Thailand's refugee camps. In Vietnam, severe conditions under the communist regime also compelled people to imperil their lives by escaping in small, overcrowded boats to nearby Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong , and the Philippines. These " boat people " risked death by drowning or the danger of piracy rather than endure discrimination under communist rule. By the early s, global pressure for better humanitarian treatment of refugees forced the Vietnamese government to find solutions for the refugee crisis.

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees established the Orderly Departure Program to resettle some , people who awaited their fate in refugee camps, and to reunite family members who had been separated. In addition, Congress passed the Amerasian Homecoming Act in to allow the persecuted children of American servicemen and Vietnamese women to immigrate to the United States.

The resettlement policy adopted by the U. Prior to coming to George Mason University in , he had worked for the federal government's refugee resettlement program and served as a senior manager at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. His teaching includes East Asia, refugees, and immigration.

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His publications include several edited volumes on refugees and immigrants, an alternative introductory anthropology text, a monograph on Vietnamese kinship, and numerous articles in professional journals on migration, kinship, and governance. Refugees in America in the s : A Reference Handbook. Chinese from Southeast Asia.