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The dependence of American growers on the supply of low-wage labor from Mexico also bounded the countries together. In the s, a record high of three million Mexicans gained entry, including 2. The new law also tightened border patrols and imposed penalties for hiring undocumented immigrants, but several million more still arrived between and Of an estimated The Cuban exodus to the United States reflected deteriorating relations between the two countries.
From and the Cuban missile crisis in , more than one hundred thousand refugees were admitted to the United States; many of them were educated or had professional skills. Those that came between and were more numerous but less well-to-do. In the chaotic exodus of the Mariel boatlift in , which lasted for days, the United States Coast Guard assisted more than one thousand vessels carrying refugees from the small fishing port of Mariel west of Havana to South Florida, bringing , individuals, including a large number of blacks and unskilled workers.
That year alone, some , Cubans gained entry, which was more than the annual total allotted for all immigrants. Although there were no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, the United States reached an agreement with Cuba in and granted the country an annual quota of 20, An annual average of more than 30, individuals gained entry since then. A program administered by the Department of Homeland Security in also brought six thousand medical professionals from Cuba.
Cuban immigrants built a large ethnic community in Miami, which became the most desirable destination for newcomers. Increasing numbers of immigrants also arrived from several other western hemisphere nations.
S troops occupied the island nation for eight years from to , began to send large numbers in the s. In the years after , an annual average of twenty-five thousand Dominicans have been admitted, and those who came as tourists and overstayed their visas or who arrived in the United States via Puerto Rico were largely uncounted.
Many Dominican immigrants could enjoy dual citizenship after , which further encouraged migration. War, violence, poverty, and natural disasters also encouraged immigration from Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other Central American nations. The Nicaraguans began to arrive in large numbers in the s and joined Cuban immigrants in Florida, especially Miami. Most immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador were from rural backgrounds. Asylum was rarely granted for undocumented immigrants who arrived after South America, especially Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Venezuela, began to send large numbers of immigrants in the s.
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From that continent about one half million migrants arrived in the s, and an average of seventy-five thousand arrived annually in the first decade of the 21st century. Jamaica and Haiti are two major Caribbean sending nations. Jamaica was the tenth largest source of immigration in the s and climbed to seventh in the following decade. Although most Haitians came as refugees, the United States did not treat them the same as they did Cubans.go to site
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Several thousand Haitians fled from the increasingly authoritarian government before Most of the ninety thousand Haitians who came between and were poor and had little education; they left to escape poverty, violence, and political turmoil. After , more Haitians landing on American soil were undocumented. Fleeing from right-wing tyrants instead of communism, Haitians were often classified as economic migrants rather than political refugees, which led to frequent rejection of their petitions for asylum.
Those who arrived before were eligible for amnesty under IRCA. In , the Haitian Fairness Refugee Act provided a means for over twenty thousand individuals to adjust their legal status. As many Haitians became American citizens, they could sponsor family members, but undocumented immigrants continued to arrive.
As members of the poorest immigrant group, many Haitians could not find decent jobs due to their limited education levels, lack of English proficiency, and in some cases poor health. After several decades of exclusion, the Asian American population began to grow slowly in the postwar years. The majority of the early immigrants from Asian were male in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The repeal of exclusion laws, though with a small quota for each country, made it possible for women and children to gain admission outside the quota system. The Immigration Act had a profound impact on Asian immigration. For the first time, Asian countries were placed on the same basis as European countries.
The law increased the quota for each Asian country more than one hundredfold, making large-scale immigration from the continent possible. The new law also opened the door for professional labor, allowing Asians with occupational qualifications to come. Whereas the Immigration Act opened the door wide to Asian immigration, not all countries took the full quota allotment. Most Asian countries did not have large population base in the United States at the time.
Among the five established Asian American communities—Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Indian, only three were able to benefit from the new law within a relatively short time. Filipino Americans took the lead. By then, there was a large population of Filipinos living in the United States. Political instability and economic problems in Philippines were the major incentives for emigration.
Due to the U. Educated in an American-style school system, most young Filipinos could speak English, which made the United States the most desirable destination for prospective migrants. Those trained in the medical profession, especially nurses, were welcomed by American hospitals. With established family networks in this country and marketable skills, it was relatively easy for Filipino immigrants to adjust their lives in America.
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In the decade of the s, the Philippines emerged as one of the top ten immigrant-sending countries. It ranked second, behind Mexico, for the three decades between and see Table 2. The Korean immigrant population in the United States was relatively small before Small groups of students also gained entry during this period.
These military brides and some established students were among the first to sponsor their family members and relatives after In the s and s the South Korean government encouraged emigration to reduce the pressure of its growing population. By then, the presence of American troops in Korea after the Korean War and frequent exchanges between the two nations had exposed South Koreans to the material advantages of American way of life.
Streams of emigration to the United States began almost immediately after the Immigration Act became effective. Regardless of their skills and educational background, many Korean immigrants became self-employed, because it was difficult for them to find employment. During the three decades between and , Korea was one of the top ten immigrant-sending countries. The South Asian immigrant population was small before In the two decades after World War II, some Indian students came to study science, engineering, medicine, and business.
Once these students settled in the United States, they became the core node of the immigration network for family unification.
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Since , India has made the list of the top ten sending nations every decade. In addition to family members and students, Indian immigration to the United States was facilitated by the employment-based preference. In the fiscal year, Indians accounted for 70 percent of the , H1-B petitions. The partition of Pakistan from India in and the creation of Bangladesh in also affected the immigration from South Asia. Once they were independent, the two nations received separate quotas. Pakistani immigrants began to increase significantly in the s.
After a slow start, Bangladesh also emerged as an important source of immigration in the 21st century. The Japanese and Chinese were the two largest Asian immigrant groups in , but neither Japan nor China was a major source of immigration in the s and s. In addition to the existing ethnic Japanese population, thousands of Japanese women arrived as wives of U.
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Like the Koreans, citizens of Japan were familiar with American culture and society. But unlike in the postwar years, by the late s, Japan had emerged as an industrial country, and its economy was able to provide good employment opportunities to its own citizens. Enjoying a relatively high standard of living during the economic boom, the Japanese had little incentive to move abroad. As a result, Japan has not filled the immigration quota provided by the law. Immigration from China has been shaped by contemporary Chinese history and U. Most of the Chinese who came in the s and s were from either Taiwan or Hong Kong; the latter was then a British colony.
Most of those from Taiwan in the s and s were students, and they later were able to sponsor their family members.