Post-1965 Immigration

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Post-1965 Immigration

Post-1965 Immigration


The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s made Americans aware of the racism in the United State which led to Congress outlawing racial discrimination after demonstrations led by Martin Luther King Jr. and others. One year later, Congress considered changing the unfair immigration laws. In 1965 Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1965, a law that allowed 170,000 immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere and 120,000 immigrants from the Western Hemisphere to enter the United States. The act allowed 20,000 immigrants per country, not including immediate family members such as spouses, children, or parents of the U.S. citizens, to enter from the Eastern Hemisphere. The US government admitted these immigrants on a first-come, first-served basis beginning with adult family members, professionals, artists, needed skilled and unskilled laborers, and refugees.


The Immigration Act of 1965 was originally designed to promote European immigration. The law provided a way to reunite families by allowing US citizens to bring their family members to the United States. Congress figured there would not be many Asian immigrants because most of the US citizens at the time were from Europe. Few could immigrate from Asian countries because they had no family ties in the US(Steinberg 2005).

The university opened the door for new immigration from Asian countries. The Chinese flocked to the United States to get an education. Thousands of students found jobs and go Labor Department certification as immigrants under the category for skilled workers. Once they became immigrants, they could bring their husbands and wives, parents, brothers, and sisters. The Immigration Act of 1965 created this second wave of Asian immigrants to the United States. The number of Asian Americans living in the United States soared from one million (less than 1%) in 1965 to five million (2%) in 1985(Cooper 2008).

The recent immigrants, called "San Yi Man" or "new immigrants" differed from the earlier immigrants called "Lo Wa Kiu" or "old overseas Chinese". They included a large number of professionals and people from the cities compared to the farmers and rural folk of the past. They included Mandarin as well as Cantonese speakers. The second wave immigrants still struggled with the English-language barrier like the earlier immigrants, but this group of immigrants probably felt more pressure to find jobs since many arrived to this country with families rather than as single men (Waldinger 1996). They viewed their immigration to the United States as a permanent rather than temporary situation like the earlier immigrants.


Before the Immigration Act of 1965, Koreans are spread out in America. Practically, Koreans are actually a very visible group in America. In Los Angeles, there are 150,000 Koreans, and because of this large amount of Koreans, a new Korean community is created on Olympic Boulevard. Newsweek reported in 1975. What used to be Mexican-American, Japanese and Jewish stores and businesses are now mostly Korean, with giant Oriental letters spread across their low-slung storefronts. And the majority of this group own grocery stores, churches, gas station, restaurants, and barbershops: One does ...
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