Cambodians In Long Beach, California Essay

1575 words - 7 pages

Cambodians didn’t just appear in Long Beach, CA out of nowhere. Long before Long Beach, CA became the epicenter of a very large Cambodian population, Cambodians migrated from Cambodia, a country in Asia that sits next to Thailand and Vietnam. In the early 1960s Cambodians began arriving in various cities within California, Long Beach in particular witnessed mass numbers of Cambodians flooding into the area in Southern California. One year later, President John F. Kennedy established the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), which was the very first assistance/aid organization set up for a foreign country (Impact of U.S Refugee Policies on U.S Foreign Policy/Carnegie Endowment for ...view middle of the document...

To overcome this issue, a “Cluster Project” was formed with the intention to identify medium sized states around the United States that would be able to support small numbers of refugees for resettlement within the city (Impact of U.S Refugee Policies on U.S Foreign Policy/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). Unfortunately, Long Beach was not included on this database; on the other hand refugees were given the opportunity to relocate to a different city or destination. Facing adversity, Cambodians experienced physical and psychological trauma due to the loss of various family members and friends. Cambodians were and still are attracted to the city of Long Beach due to the largely established and friendly Cambodian community. This offered newly migrated Cambodians into a welcoming environment with great networking and connections in which finding employment and aid was very much appreciated. Long Beach was then known as the, “Cambodian capital of the United States.” (Cambodians in Long Beach/Camchap). Believe it or not, there is a specific area along Anaheim Street that is inhabited by a very large Cambodian population that the city of Long Beach designated as “Cambodia Town.” (Cambodia Town/UCLA.edu).
Today, the Department of State of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) are responsible for administering the Refugee Admissions Program. (Impact of U.S Refugee Policies on U.S Foreign Policy/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). The PRM conducts refugee interviews for potential refugees and also determines the eligibility status for these
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individuals to be allowed into the United States. The U.S refugee program utilizes three categories for classifying refugees. The first category is primarily aimed for individuals who hold compelling persecution needs or for whom no other durable solutions are present. Individuals classified under category one are referred to the U.S or identified by a U.S embassy or NGO. The second category classifies individuals of “special concern.” Individuals classified under category two are chosen by the Department of State along with input by USCIS, UNHCR and NGO’s. (Impact of U.S Refugee Policies on U.S Foreign Policy/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). The third category classifies individuals who have relatives already residing in the U.S that includes parents, spouses, or unmarried children of current refuges; meaning these specific refugees are being “sponsored” by their relatives to migrate into the United States. The “sponsor” residing in the U.S must first file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) to prove he or she has an actual family relationship with the refugee which is then processed by the DHS who states the consent of following through with the request. (Impact of U.S Refugee Policies on U.S Foreign Policy/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). In terms of refugees migrating into Long Beach, most individuals fall under the third category, having relatives within...

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