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Choosing one of these wars (the war against Japan during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War) can you explain how America’s military involvement produced new migration patterns and flows?

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The United States engaged in a series of wars in Asia from 1941 to 1975. Choosing one of these wars (the war against Japan during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War) explain how America’s military involvement produced new migration patterns and flows and shaped the experience of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans in the United States.

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One of the more shameful moments in American history was the establishment of internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II.  Ostensibly started because the United States was at war with Japan, it is interesting to note that there were no similar internment camps for people of Italian or German descent, despite the fact that Italy and Germany were also part of the Axis powers that fought against the Allies in World War II. 

Prior to World War II, Japanese began immigrating to America for work opportunities.  They initially immigrated to Hawaii, which was annexed by the United States in 1898 and became a territory in 1900.  Many of these immigrants then found their way to the West Coast of the United States, settling in California, Oregon, and Washington.  They found economic opportunities, but many were denied many of the rights of other Americans, including the rights of citizenship and land ownership.  The American-born children of immigrants did have those rights but were subjected to segregation and other forms of racism. 

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese sentiment in the U.S. skyrocketed.  Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the incarceration of 45,000 Japanese nationals living in the United States and 75,000 American citizens with Japanese ancestry.  While at the camps, many Japanese were used as labor by farms and other industries.  In 1944, the Supreme Court held that American citizens could not be detained without criminal charges and the camps slowly began releasing detainees.

The defeat of Japan helped tamp down the “yellow peril” myth that, while rooted in racism, had some factual basis in Japan’s military might.  In addition, many Asians participated in World War II, earning respect from many people.  This led to a cultural shift, including relaxing some restrictions on Asian immigration, most notably “war brides,” who could enter without being counted against racial quotas, though they were still subject to anti-miscegenation statutes in some states. 

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