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Immigration Essay

1853 words - 8 pages

According to the 2010 United States Census, California has the largest Vietnamese population of 581,946 in the United States. Before 1975 there were very few Vietnamese living in the United States. After the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon in 1975, many Vietnamese refugees fled Vietnam resulting in three major waves of immigration. The first and second waves of immigration played a major role in Vietnamese refugees resettling in California. The last wave in the 1990s centered on family reunification. Since the 1970s, Vietnamese people escaping communist rule immigrated to the United States. Later they relocated to California hoping to start a life with many new opportunities. Attracted to ...view middle of the document...

Environmental changes in Vietnam caused a direct force of migration. The causes of environment displacement in such factors as deforestation, lack of water, salinization of irrigated lands, and air pollution. For the past two decades, Vietnam’s economic and population increased in urban areas as well as in the country side. Economic growth has made an impact on the environment which caused air pollution and water contamination in urban areas. Another contribution to air pollution is transportations. Motorcycles are a common transportation which release harmful gasoline into the atmosphere. Hence, people are more prone to cancer due to inhaling toxic gas in the air. In addition, restaurants are occupied by street venders, so the foods are exposed to unclean air which can cause many health-related problems. There are “about 110,000 new cases of cancer every year and over 73 percent of them die, one of the highest rates in the world” based on Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam (Xinhua 2013). The numbers of cancer case is predicted to rise as the country develops with minimal healthcare access. On the country side, people are less susceptible to air contamination; however, they are experiencing other issues such as salt intrusion, and exhaustion of ground water resources which create an impact on shrimp farming (Nguyen 2007). Thus, many environment factors become a driving force for migration.
During the time the United States troops were in Vietnam, they used a variety of poisonous herbicides called Agent Orange that greatly affected Vietnam’s natural environment and civilians. According to Cohn et al, this event was “one of the most shameful legacies of the American war against Vietnam, Agent Orange continues to poison Vietnam and the people exposed to the chemicals, as well as their offspring”. Agent Orange was a great weapon to disrupt the enemy bases, destroy supplies, and expand visibilities (Foner 2012). Even though it was useful for the war, it terrifically affected human health by direct and indirect contact with the toxic chemical. Dioxin is the most poisonous chemical known to science that can be found in Agent Orange (Cohn et al. 2013). In a research study conducted in South Vietnam, dioxin could stay “in human blood for over 35 years” (Foner 2012). During the war, nearly a quarter of dioxin released in forests which caused deforestations, water contaminations, and health-related issues. Cohn et al stated that “the deadly mark left by Agent Orange on the natural environment of Vietnam includes the destruction of mangrove forests and the long-term poisoning of soil especially in the known “hot spot” near former United States military bases”. In that case, as much as three million Vietnamese suffered from Agent Orange as well as birth defects in children (Cohn et al). So, the release of toxic herbicides destroyed Vietnam’s natural environment and resources.
Around the late 19th century, Vietnamese refugees came to California...

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