AE_MLA_Vietnam - Lname 1 Fname Lname Professor Kahn COMM...

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Lname 1 Fname Lname Professor Kahn COMM 100W, Section 13 4/26/2007 A Journey of Vietnamese Immigration Vietnam is deeply embedded in the American psyche. It is an evocative word that appears repeatedly in popular culture and historical consciousness. Hundreds of films and books have talked about the Vietnam War; and most of these films and books are about the American experience in Vietnam. “However, Vietnam is much more than that. It is a country that has a long history, is rich in culture and deep in customs and traditions” (Povell). Since the end of the war in 1975, thousands of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants have called the United States of America their home. Most left because they feared they would be killed either in battles defending the old order or by the new government taking power. The journey of Vietnamese refugees to the United States has continued for more than thirty years, since 1975. It is a journey with many difficulties, challenges, and so much suffering. However, these difficulties have prepared the Vietnamese people to be so strong and brave. They have learned to adapt to new lives, and since they have arrived, along with other groups of immigrant Americans, they have been contributing to the prosperity of the economy, community, politic, and society in the United States. Historical Overview The history of Vietnamese immigration to the United States is relatively short. It started from the “fall of Saigon” that ended the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975, and that “prompted the first of two waves of emigration from Vietnam to the United States” (Povell). Vietnamese who had worked with Americans during the Vietnam War feared reprisals by the Communist party. According to Povell, “125,000 Vietnamese citizens departed their native country during the spring of 1975. They were airlifted or fled Vietnam on U.S. military cargo ships and transferred to United States government bases in Guam, Thailand, Wake Island, Hawaii and the Philippines, as part of ‘Operation New Life.’” Basically, they were transferred to four refugee centers throughout the United States: Camp Pendleton in California, Fort
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Lname 2 Chaffee in Arkansas, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. Vietnamese immigrants were initially not welcomed by the general American populace: “A poll in 1975 showed a mere 36% of Americans were in favor of Vietnamese immigration. Fortunately, the Ford Administration supported the arrival of Vietnamese immigrants and passed the Indochina Migration and Refugee Act of 1975” (Povell). This Act established a program of domestic resettlement assistance for refugees who had fled from Vietnam and Cambodia. A second wave of Vietnamese refugees began fleeing Vietnam in 1977. This wave of emigration
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AE_MLA_Vietnam - Lname 1 Fname Lname Professor Kahn COMM...

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