Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975 Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Strongly supported by President Gerald R. Ford and opposed by those who feared an influx of Southeast Asian refugees after the end of the conflict in Vietnam, the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act allowed some 200,000 Cambodians and Vietnamese to enter the United States under a special “parole” status and provided financial assistance for their resettlement.

After Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, thousands of people tried to flee Southeast Asia. Although many Americans feared that a large number of refugees would deflate wages and create a social burden, Congress passed the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975, which permitted refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam to enter the country and provided $455 million for resettlement. In 1976, the act was amended to include refugees from Laotian immigrantsLaos. Nonprofit groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Civitan International, and the International Rescue Committee, sponsored families, providing food, clothing, and shelter until they could support themselves. Initially, the U.S. government placed refugees in scattered locations, hoping to prevent the formation of large enclaves. Once families’ lives stabilized, however, they tended to move near each other, with many settling permanently in Texas and California.Vietnam War;postwar refugees[a]Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975Ford, Gerald R.CambodianimmigrantsVietnam War;postwar refugees[a]Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975[cat]SOUTHEAST ASIAN IMMIGRANTS;Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975[02790][cat]LAWS;Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975[02790][cat]REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PERSONS;Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975[02790]Ford, Gerald R.Cambodian immigrantsVietnam War;postwar refugees[a]Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975

Further Reading
  • Bloemraad, Irene. Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Kelly, Gail Paradise. From Vietnam to America: A Chronicle of the Vietnamese Immigration to the United States. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1977.
  • Strand, Paul, and Woodrow Jones, Jr. Indochinese Refugees in America: Problems of Adaptation and Assimilation. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985.

Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987

Asian immigrants

Cambodian immigrants

Congress, U.S.

Hmong immigrants

Laotian immigrants

Refugees

Vietnamese immigrants

Categories: History Content