A Framework for Immigration: Asians in the United States

A Framework for Immigration: Asians in the United States

A Framework for Immigration: Asians in the United States

A Framework for Immigration: Asians in the United States

Synopsis

Although stereotypically portrayed as academic and economic achievers, Asian Americans often live in poverty, underserved by human services, undercompensated in the workforce, and subject to discrimination. Although often perceived as a single, homogenous group, there are significant differences between Asian American cultures that affect their experience. Segal, an Asian American immigrant herself, analyzes Asian immigration to the U.S., including immigrants' reasons for leaving their countries, their attraction to the U.S., the issues they face in contemporary U.S. society, and the history of public attitudes and policy toward them. Segal observes that the profile of the Asian American is shaped not only by the immigrants and their descendents but by the nation's response to their presence.

Excerpt

Asian Americans constitute the fastest-growing minority in the United States, by both birth and immigration. Stereotypic portrayals of Asians as academic and economic achievers have reflected the accomplishments of only one segment of this group. Collectively, Asian Americans live in poverty, are underserved or poorly served by human services, and are undercompensated in the workforce. Many newly arriving immigrants, as well as U.S.-born Asians, are in need of the resources in the country, yet few who use those resources are from Asian groups. In addition, a tendency to perceive Asian Americans as a single homogeneous group obscures the reality that while all Asian Americans share some similarities in culture, the various groups do exhibit significant differences. Historical experiences in their countries of origin and in the United States also differ, as do the resources they bring to this country, the response of this country to their entry, and the ease with which they adapt, or are allowed to adapt, to life in the United States.

Chapter 1 provides the foundation of the book, presenting a framework for understanding the emigration/immigration experience, regardless of the country of origin or of immigration.

Chapters 2 and 3 focus on the history of the homelands of Asian immigrants, with particular attention to the periods during which waves of immigration to the United States occurred. The social, cultural, and economic aspects of the country of origin provide what are known as the “push” factors in immigration theory. Chapter 2 deals with those countries that had a substantial wave of emigration to the United States before 1965 and the liberalization of American immigration policies. Chapter 3 explores the more recent history of the countries accounting for post-1965 immigration.

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