Post-War Asian Immigration

free essayMass migration of Asians to the United States had some socio-economic reasons that triggered the outflow of labor from Asian countries. The distribution and use of natural and manpower resources and political decisions were the conditions that affected the migration movement to the US locations, which were richer in jobs and offered better means of life at post-war time. Political and economic bans led to significant migration flows to the United States, which became more active and visible in that period. Besides, legislative reforms empowered many Asian migrants to get the U.S. citizenship.

Reasons of Asian Migration

The main precondition for migration movements of Asians to the US was mainly saturated agrarian areas which had to be processed by large low-paid workforce. Due to the common experience of working on American lands for many years, Asian emigrants could find their own means for life and permanent earnings in the US. Thus, according to historical evidence, the U.S. mainland and islands were populated and processed by more than 7,000 Koreans and 7,000 migrants of Indian origin (Chan, 1991). Although modern figures are even more impressive, thousands of Asian migrants at that time indicate significant immigration movements of Asians to the United States. This historical background marked the formation of the Asian diaspora in the United States from the beginning of the 19th century, which took different turns in the subsequent years, depending on the position of the foreign policy and US immigration quotas for Asians.

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Asian emigration was also related to American connection and its legal framework. The latter represents socioeconomic relationships and opportunities for foreign citizens who appeal to live and work in the U.S. All the aspects concerned with entrance of Asian emigrants in the U.S. were under consideration of the legislature. If the laws imposed quotas and restrictions on entry, the flow of emigrants greatly reduced. However, the permissive provisions of some acts contributed to the fact that an increased number of Asian emigrants sought to enter the United States. This was the second major reason for mass emigration.

In addition, a number of laws contributed to emigration of the Asian population to the territory of the United States. Thus, replacement of the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 18th century with the Magnuson Act, which was adopted during the Second World War, opened up new opportunities for Chinese immigration. Besides, in the post-war period, according to the War Brides Act, the Asian-origin relatives of US military could enter the country without quotas, which also gave impetus for increased emigration. Enacted in 1965, Hart–Celler Act, also known as Immigration and Nationality Act, empowered people from Asia to emigrate to the U.S. (Pilk, 2002). Thus, one third of the total number of immigrants in 1971-1990 was Asians. Hence, any favorable changes in the legal framework of interpreting American connection led to mass movements of this ethnic group.

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Female immigration has also increased due to the amendment of the already mentioned War Brides Act. After 1946, Chinese wives of U.S. citizens immigrated in the country as a non-quota category. Approximately 7,000 of Chinese fiancées and wives with children of war veterans came to the U.S. (Pilk, 2002) Removing restrictions imposed on the Chinese by the Exclusion Act, the enacted amendment gave permission to international spouses regardless of their nationality and race to join the military personnel of the U.S. Army. Moreover, the McCarran-Walter Act enacted after the Second World War provided a large number of Asian women and children with non-quota entrance in the 1950s-1960s (Pilk, 2002). Hence, marriage to the American citizens engaged in military areas gave women from Asian countries a ticket to the United States. Mass migration of Asian women did not change the gender balance of Asian migrants in the United States; however, it exceeded the ratio of male and female minors (Yang & Kurashige, 2016). Thus, connection to American husbands invoked the next wave of mass immigration in the post-1945 period.

The new challenges of the globalized world economy contributed to the fact that low-paid jobs based on simple operations were occupied by Asian descendants. Labor migration that took place during the peaceful time of the post-war period resulted in an increase in the number of foreigners from the Asian region in the U.S. labor market. The capitalist sentiments ruling in America allowed employers to step up their resources and make profit rapidly through the large scope of production in various industries (Ong, Bonacich, & Cheng, 1994). Therefore, emigrants from Asia were an acceptable cheap force appreciated for extensive development of large companies. Additional inflow of human resources, who experienced political pressure in their homeland, quickly occupied their broad niche in the working class, which stimulated even a greater need for the expansion of this capital (Liu & Cheng, 1994). It was expected and obvious that the white population of the USA experienced even more difficulties, and challenges of employment gave an impetus to the formation of some legislative preferences for the white population compared to foreign applicants at that time. Hence, economic reasons increased the dynamics of the incoming Asian emigrants, who were cheaper and thus challenged the U.S. employees.

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International incentives and entrepreneurial opportunities encouraged emigration from Asia. Many Asians had certain expectations about establishing international relations or embodying their own business idea in the United States. Political and economic instability in the Asian countries, the war in Vietnam, and the conflicting South and North Koreas contrasted with the confident U.S. gaining momentum in the international arena through the development of large transnational mutually beneficial relations. It obviously increased the influx of emigrants from the countries of the Asian region. In addition, Asian countries tended to create favorable conditions for US investment (Liu & Cheng, 1994). Therefore, Asian professionals came to set a part of their business here or start a new business in the U.S. Despite the grieving moments associated with the model of minority and interracial conflicts, the initiative of these people can inspire their activity and the desire for gradual economic independence (Cheng & Yang, 1996). The opening business prospects raised the expectations of immigrants from Asia and gradually increased their population within the borders of the American state.

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To sum up, mass emigration from the Asian region to the US was connected with American economic prosperity, saturated labor market, the shaped social conditions, and other legal opportunities in the post-war period. Formation of favorable socioeconomic conditions in the U.S. after the Second World War appealed to inclusion of Asian immigrants in the human capital, contributing to a wave of immigration for legal entrance and entitlement. A range of changes in immigration legislation contributed to removal of former exclusion of Asian immigrants and the resumption of the influx of people from the Asian region. The first group of foreigners free of quotas was the Chinese wives and children of the U.S. military, which represent the first wave of mass immigration. In addition to legal and social reasons, economic incentives also attracted many people from Asian countries in the following decades. Opportunities to engage in the simplest jobs, to recognize the prospects of their business, or to contribute to the expansion of Asian business in the United States stimulated mass migration of Asians striving for American connection.