Asian Immigration To The USA

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Asian Immigration to the United States For the most part, Asians have had a rough time becoming equals in American society. But because of their hard work, and strong family ethics Asians as a whole have definitely become a keystone in the society of the United States. The first Asians to arrive on American shores were the Chinese. Chinese people started immigrating en masse during the 19th century. Most of them worked as railroad workers or miners. The Chinese faced a lot of prejudices and discrimination upon their arrival, and throughout their lives. Chinese Americans entered the United States through Angel Island. Angel Island is the equivalent to Ellis Island, but instead of on the East coast, Angel Island is on the West Coast of California. “Political party caucuses, labor unions, and other organizations rallied against the immigration of yet another ‘inferior race’. ” However, these hardships were endured and the Chinese continued to work hard. They earned very little money doing these hard, dangerous jobs, but it was all they could do. “Gold was discovered in California in 1848, eventually attracting thousands of Chinese miners and contract laborers. In 1850, just over 1,000 Asian immigrants entered the U. S. , but ten years later, the figure had jumped to nearly 37,000, mostly Chinese. ” 1 Upon arriving to the United States, the Chinese were promised roads paved in gold and great wages but wound up working hard jobs and making minimal money. In some areas there were even anti-Chinese riots, and protests. Many people calling the immigration the “Yellow Peril”. Other common occupations for early Chinese Americans included, agriculture, fishing, and small shop management. “As decades passed, the situation between the Chinese and the Americas improved. Such events as the Chinatowns turning from crime and drug ridden places to quiet, colorful tourist attractions, well-behaved and school conscientious Chinese children being welcomed by public school teachers, and China becoming allies with the U. S. during World War II all paved the way for Chinese Americans becoming respected members of society. ” January 13, 1903 – the S. S. Gaelic landed on Honolulu Harbor with the first wave of Korean immigrants. “The boat carried 120 men, women and children, who made up the first significant group of Korean Americans. Most of these men and women would become cheap workers and laborers on Hawaii’s booming sugar plantations. Throughout the next several years over 7,000 more Koreans would immigrate to Hawaii to meet the large demand for their low-wage work. Most of these immigrants were men. Many of the Korean workers married picture brides, who were chosen through a process of exchanging photographs between America and Korea. 3 “The Immigration Act of 1924, one of a series of anti-Asian exclusion laws, put a virtual end to immigration from Asia, preventing even Asian spouses from joining their families in America. Koreans did not – because they could not by U. S. law – immigrate to the United States for over 25 years. ” 3 Many Koreans came to the United States to seek help in freeing their homeland from Japanese rule. But Korea wasn’t freed from the Japanese until the United States took victory in World War II. The next large wave of Korean immigration started during the Korean War which was in 1950 to 1953. “The largest wave of immigration from Korea – and the largest wave of immigration from all of Asia – began with the passing of the Immigration Act of 1965. 3 For the first time in the history of the United States, immigrants from all over were now allowed to enter America in en masse, due to new legislation. Koreans were fast to snatch up this new opportunity and wisely took advantage of the new laws. Coincidently for many years, one out of three immigrants from Asia was Korean. 3Unfortunatley, since most of the Korean immigrants coming to America couldn’t speak English well enough; they couldn’t work the higher end jobs, even though most of them were highly educated with degrees. However, many Koreans opened up their own businesses and stores. “From the outside, Korean Americans appear to have found easy success – but they have done so by working grueling 18-hour days, 7 days a week, and sacrificing many comforts for the sake of their families, especially the children. ” 3 Many Japanese men, women and children left their homeland for reasons such as seeking peace, work and a stable home – mostly to provide a better future for their children. Their country was at unrest during this time, so it was very ideal for the Japanese people to move out. “However, before the first generation of immigrants could enjoy the fruits of their labor, they had to overcome hostile neighbors, harsh working conditions, and repeated legislative attacks on their very presence in the country. ” In the 1870s and 1880s, during the peak of the Hawaiian sugar cane boom, many Japanese immigrated to Hawaii to work. “Thus as of 1900, the majority of half of all the Japanese immigrants in the world living in the U. S. lived in Hawaii. throughout the years, the general regional distribution of Japanese Americans changed from two-thirds of the 85,000 Japanese in the U. S. living in Hawaii at the turn of the century, to just over half of the 220,000 Japanese living on mainland America – mostly the West coast in 1920. 4 As a result Japan attacking America’s Pearl Harbor on December 7, 194 and order went out for all Japanese men, women and children to be sent to internment camps as a safety measure. This hardship was overcome by the Japanese Americans, and now the Japanese are prominent, well-respected members of society. Thailand, a country the size of Texas has a rich cultural history and interesting immigration background. Before 1960 Thai immigration was almost non-existent. When United States armed forces begun to arrive in Thailand during the Vietnam War, the Thai people interacted with the American soldiers and became aware of the fact that they could immigrate to America, and it became of interest to many Thai’s. “By the 1970s, some 5,000 Thais had emigrated to this country, at a ratio of three women to every man. This was particularly rare for Asian cultures to have more women immigrate than men to America. The largest concentrations of Thai people in America are in Los Angeles and New York City. As a contrast to other Asian nations that arrived to America, working hard labor jobs and farming, most Thai’s worked as doctors, business professionals, or nurses – among other professions. “In general, Thai communities are tightly knit and mimic the social networks of their native land. As of 1990, there were approximately 91,275 people of Thai ancestry living in the United States. 6 A common misconception of Thai people is that they are lacking in innovation, and not being contributive to society. Some dominate culture Americans think lowly of this, and the Thai people are constantly trying to show that their presence in America is seen to the dominate culture as a benefit, not a burden. Another group of Asians who’s presence in America has been even more limited than the Thais, the Mongols – they as well are rich in cultural diversity and a unique immigration history. There has been virtually no Mongolian immigration to America before the 1990’s. The first Mongolians to emigrate to the United States were the Kalmyk Mongols, a traditionally nomadic, pastoral group descended from the Western Mongols who left Central Asia in the seventeenth century for Russia. ” In 2000 it was estimated there were approximately 500-700 Mongolian Americans living in the Chicago area – the highest concentration of Mongols in America. Many of the Mongols in America are students who came to America to further their education and studies, but decided to stay due to the much easier lifestyle of their nomadic, harsh homeland. After the Vietnam War, Vietnamese mass immigration to America begun. In 1975 is when real numbers of Vietnamese people started arriving on American shores. Many of the early Vietnamese people to arrive were people seeking refuge from persecution from the victorious communists of their homeland. “Forced to flee from their homeland and often thrust into poor urban neighborhoods, these newcomers have nevertheless managed to establish strong communities in a short amount of time. ” Even though Vietnamese Americans have adapted to American society quickly, they continue to hold their traditional values of strong family values, and high education standards. Vietnamese Americans are now moving into professional, managerial, and entrepreneurial positions, especially in the high-tech sector and in locations such as Silicon Valley. 8 The Filipino people perhaps have one of the oldest histories in America. On October 18, 1587 the first Filipino’s arrived to America. Early Filipinos were forced to work for the Spanish – mostly on their ships. “In 1763, Filipinos made their first permanent settlement in the bayous and marshes of Louisiana” During the War of 1812 Filipinos who lived near the New Orleans area fought against the British. However, this was just the beginning of Filipino history in America. The second large wave of immigration of Filipinos to America begun in 1906, with the most going to California and Hawaii. This second wave of immigration lasted until 1934. “Spain sold the Philippines to the United States for $20 million, thus ending over 300 years of Spanish colonization. ” 9 However, America was the Philippines new ‘ruler’ and allegedly cheated the Filipino people to believing they were really free – which led to the Filipino American War which lasted three years. Approximately 70,000 Americans died and about 2 million Filipinos were killed. 9 In the early 1900’s many Filipinos came to work on sugar plantations in Hawaii – like many other ethnic groups did. “Filipinos came to the West Coast of the U. S. They worked many long hours on farms and in the agricultural fields picking grapes, asparagus, lettuce and other fruits and vegetables in places like Hayward, Salinas, Stockton, El Centro, and even in Escondido. In Alaska they worked in the fish canneries. 9 The last wave of Filipino immigration happened after the passing of the Immigration Act of 1965 which allowed Filipinos and other ethnic groups to immigrate en masse – and this wave continues to this day. As you have read, Asians immigrating to America never had it easy. But due to their determination, cultural connectedness and strong family ties most Asian ethnic groups have adapted well and fast to American main stream society and remain as well respected members of society. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. https://www. nfoplease. com/spot/immigration1. html [ 2 ]. https://library. thinkquest. org/20619/Chinese. html [ 3 ]. https://www. apa. si. edu/Curriculum%20Guide-Final/unit1. htm [ 4 ]. https://lcweb2. loc. gov/learn/features/immig/japanese. html [ 5 ]. https://library. thinkquest. org/20619/Japanese. html [ 6 ]. https://www. everyculture. com/multi/Sr-Z/Thai-Americans. html [ 7 ]. https://www. chicagohistory. org/pages/838. html [ 8 ]. https://www. ailf. org/awards/benefit2005/vietnamese_essay. shtml [ 9 ]. https://www. csuchico. edu/ncpaso/filipino. htm

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