Nghia M. Vo
The Lands of Freedom
         United States
         The United States took in the largest contingent of refugees who over the decades have gradually matured and gotten involved in American politics.

         1. Timeline
         Below is the timeline that depicts the evolution of the Vietnamese community and its achievements in the U.S.

         In 1975, President Ford signed the Indochina Immigration and Refugee Act admitting 130,000 Asian refugees. They were evacuated to Guam, Wake Island and the Philippines before arriving at one of the four relocation camps: Pendleton, California; Fort Chaffee, Arkansas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; and Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania.

         In 1977, Senator Kennedy sponsored a bill allowing refugee parolees to become permanent residents.

         In 1979, the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) allowed 5,000 refugees (mostly reeducation prisoners) to go directly to the U.S. from Vietnam each year. President Carter ordered the 7th U.S. Fleet to seek out distressed "boat people" at sea.

         A second wave of Boat people took to the sea in 1980. President Carter signed the 1980 Refugee Act admitting 50,000 refugees to the U.S. annually.

         In 1981, the Galveston Bay fishermen used the Klu Klux Klan to terrorize Vietnamese fishermen claiming unfair competition.

         By September 1983, the U.S. has received 678,057, two thirds of whom have entered during the refugee crisis between 1979 and 1982.

         The 1987 Amerasian Homecoming Act allowed the coming of 75,000 Amerasian and family members who were discriminated in Vietnam.

        Please read the rest of the story in THE LANDS OF FREEDOM.