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Immigration History of South Koreans to U.S. Society

The purpose of this research is to examine the immigration history, comparative demographic characteristics, and distinctive contributions made by South Koreans to American society. The plan of the research will be to set forth in general terms the patterns of immigration from South Korea to the U.S. in the modern period, and then to discuss selected distinguishing features of the South Korean immigrant case.

What has to be understood about South Koreans' immigration to the U.S. since the time of the Korean War is that the rate of immigration appears to have risen steadily when compared to immigration rates from around the world in general, and rapidly when compared to immigration rates from Asia in particular. There are several indices of this. One is the historic passage of the 1965 Immigration Act, whereby the U.S. government opened immigration options to Asians that were roughly equivalent to such options for Europeans. According to Robey (1985), some 17,000 Asians as opposed to 114,000 Europeans were admitted to the U.S. in 1965. In 1981, 244,000 Asians versus 67,000 Europeans were admitted to the U.S. Koreans accounted for the third most common of Asian immigrants, after Vietnamese and Filipinos (Robey, 1985). These figures are confirmed by Hacker, who says that the number of Koreans in the U.S. "underwent a fivefold expansion from 1970 to 1980, for an increase of 412.8 percent" (Hacker, 1983, p. 35). In addition, says Hacker, in the 1970s persons from South Korea represented the third largest ethnic immigrant pool out of all countries, behind persons from Mexico and the Philippines. In 1979, 29,248 Koreans immigrated to the U.S., representing 15.4% of the 189,293 Asian immigrants admitted to the country; Asian immigrants as a group represented 41.1% of all those admitted to the U.S. in that year (Hacker, 1983). It is estimated that between 1980 and 200, the number of ethnic Koreans living in the U.S. will have increased from ...

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Immigration History of South Koreans to U.S. Society. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:44, May 21, 2019, from