A Framework for Immigration

A Framework for Immigration: Applications to Asians in the United States

Uma A. Segal
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 480
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/sega12082
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  • Book Info
    A Framework for Immigration
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50633-5
    Subjects: Law, Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. PROLOGUE: RACISM
    (pp. 1-2)
    Andrea Clark

    It’s in the Way

    It’s in the way you patronise

    The way that you avert your eyes

    The way that you cannot disguise

    Your looks of horror and surprise

    It’s the assumptions that you make

    On my behalf and for my sake

    And in the way you do not hear

    The things we tell you loud and clear

    It’s in the way you touch my hair

    The way you think, The way you stare

    It’s right there in your history

    Just like slavery for me

    It’s in the language that you use

    The way that you express your views

    The...

  6. 1 Introduction: A Framework for the Immigration Experience
    (pp. 3-37)

    Immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers: they flock to the shores, the airports, and the borders of the United States of America annually, in increasing numbers. As diverse as the groups that arrive, the immigrant experience is colored by the reasons they leave their countries of origin, their attraction to the United States, their resources, and their reception in the United States. The nation is young and composed almost entirely of immigrants. Other than Native Americans, all other ethnic American groups arrived to begin new lives. Even Native Americans were uprooted through policies that displaced them to reservations from their original...

  7. 2 Pre-1965 Emigration: Leaving the Homeland for the United States
    (pp. 38-74)

    Motivations for emigration are myriad, and personal choices are rarely clear. No single cause serves as a sufficient impetus for so dramatic a change as leaving one’s homeland, one’s roots, and all that is familiar. Whether the move is voluntary or not, whether it is the result of careful planning, the effect of war, the aftermath of a natural disaster, or enforced political exile, it still requires personal choice. Not all who are discontented with their lives in their homelands, afflicted by the ravages of war, forced from their homes because of natural disasters, or have their lives threatened by...

  8. 3 Post-1965 Emigration: Changes in U.S. Immigration Policy
    (pp. 75-128)

    Emigration from Asian nations since 1965 has been spurred not only by their socioeconomic conditions but also by the opening of immigration policies through the amendments of October 3, 1965, to the Immigration Act of 1924 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. The influx of Asian immigrants may be directly related to four of the five major changes made through these amendments (79 Statutes-at-Large 911),¹ which

    1. abolished the national origins quota system, eliminating national origin, race, or ancestry as a basis for immigration to the U.S.

    2. established allocation of immigrant visas on a first-come basis, subject to a...

  9. 4 Entry Into the United States and the Nationʹs Response to Asian Immigration
    (pp. 129-167)

    In a message to the Eighty-ninth Congress on January 13, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson recommended liberalization of existing immigration legislation. After extensive hearings, on October 3, 1965, the president was able to sign into effect the Immigration Act of October 3, 1965. The passage of this act so changed the United States’ immigration policy that unprecedented numbers of immigrants entered the country, especially from Asian and Latin American countries, who had up to that time been heavily restricted from entering. U.S. immigration policies were first formulated in response to Asian immigration (specifically Chinese immigration) in the latter half of the...

  10. 5 Asian Adjustment
    (pp. 168-225)

    Perceptions of adjustment have differed over the years. In the view of early assimilation theorists, as well as some contemporary ones, a well-adjusted immigrant is one who assimilates into the dominant society by assuming the values, attitudes, culture, and behaviors of the majority group. The ideal is that all people should melt into one pot, which is necessary to enable equal access to resources for all. However, not all immigrants can or wish to pursue this route to assimilation. Others may wish to assimilate, but because of their reception in the host country they may not be permitted to do...

  11. 6 Public Policies: Social Welfare, Housing, Education, and Criminal Justice
    (pp. 226-268)

    Public policies in the United States may be federal, state, or local. Governing or affecting almost all areas of public life, they have implications for immigrants as well as for nationals, often serving as the economic and social pulse of the nation. Usually grounded in the majority’s values and ideologies, they touch all aspects of life and serve to regulate patterns of behavior, distribution and use of resources, provision of services, and a host of other activities considered important for the functioning and well-being of the society.

    Some public policies particularly affect immigrants and Asian Americans, because of their immigrant...

  12. 7 Public Policies: Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse
    (pp. 269-308)

    Access to quality physical and mental medical care is of universal concern. While the United States is a leader in quality health care, accessibility is often limited to individuals with financial resources. Those with adequate health care coverage through either public (Medicaid and Medicare) or private insurance programs receive at least basic care, but a large segment of the population is not covered by private insurance and is not eligible for public insurance coverage. The health care needs of this group are high, but frequently go unmet. Immigrants and refugees find the health care system complex and intimidating, and they...

  13. 8 U.S.–Born Asian Americans
    (pp. 309-354)

    Who are they, these U.S.-born Asian Americans? Clearly they are individuals born of parents who emigrated to the United States from an Asian country sometime after the middle of the nineteenth century. They may be second-generation Americans¹ or they may be of the third, fourth, or even fifth generation, especially if their ancestors were among the Issei of the early twentieth century. They differ from most second-generation Americans from European countries and from all such fifth-generation Americans in that they are always identifiable, and they must therefore identify themselves as “Asians” or “Asian Americans,” not as “Americans.” Because of their...

  14. 9 Implications, Directions, and Action Guidelines
    (pp. 355-386)

    As one looks at the immigrant experience in the United States, one is struck by the realization that for some this is the “land of opportunity” and endless possibilities, but for others it is a “field of dreams” where goals are unattainable. Many immigrants in the latter half of the twentieth century were highly successful, while others continued to struggle. A closer inspection reveals why people come, why most stay, and what that means for both them and native-born Americans. The nation is not without discrimination and prejudice, and historical and current experiences with immigrants and those who look different...

  15. EPILOGUE: Authorʹs Immigration Experience
    (pp. 387-394)

    As a thirteen year old in 1965, I did not understand that I was coming to the U.S. at the very time of the liberalization of its immigration policies. Much to my delight, my parents had made arrangements for me to join ninth grade at a boarding school in New England. For me the process began when in the summer of 1964, I traveled to the Indian capital of Delhi to take the Secondary School Admission Test in order to get into Northfield School in Massachusetts; it was also necessary for me to qualify for a scholarship, for without it...

  16. NOTES
    (pp. 395-398)
  17. REFERENCES
    (pp. 399-440)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 441-468)