Indochinese Refugee Panel

Topics: Vietnam War, Cambodia, Vietnam Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: June 2, 2013
In 1975, with the fall of Saigon, the Vietnamese found themselves finally at the end of the bloody war that had engulfed their country for 20-some years. By the end of this 20 yearlong war hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian civilians lay dead and millions of others found themselves fleeing their war-torn homes for safe-haven in nearby China, Southeast Asia, North American, and Europe. To deal with in large influx of refugees many countries, including the United States, enacted legislative reform to their immigration laws to assist in the acceptance and processing of Vietnamese refugees. In April of 1975, the Viet Cong advanced rapidly towards South Vietnam, by April 30th, Saigon, the last standing city in South Vietnam, had fallen to the Viet Cong. Fearing they would be captured, imprisoned, and maybe even murdered, the U.S. military launched a large-scale evacuation out of Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon of U.S. employed Vietnamese civilians. Unfortunately, the Viet Cong launched a defensive attack on the airport, making unusable to military aircraft; as a result military helicopters were forced to conduct the evacuations from the rooftops of the American embassy. Nevertheless, many Vietnamese were left behind to find their own ways out of the now communist friendly country. The fall of Saigon left many South Vietnamese civilians fleeing the country for safe-haven in Southeast Asia and North America. Passed on May 23, 29175, under President Gerald Ford, the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act was a direct response to the fall of Saigon to which allowed some 130,000 refugees from South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to enter the United States under a special status and also provided financial assistance to refugees. While some of these refugees were officially transported out of the country, many other refugees found themselves climbing aboard flimsy and overcrowded boats, some of which were not seaworthy, to make their way to...
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