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According to the 1980 census, the Chinese, Filipinos, and Japanese represent, respectively, the three most populous Asian Pacific ethnic groups in the United States.
Chinese were regarded as a curious but welcome addition to the population of labourers and fortune seekers arriving on the West Coast. Working as field hands and domestics they performed many needed services, and they contributed significantly to the completion of the transcontinental railroad. But, in the trades and gold fields where they competed with whites, they were often brutally attacked
The majority of Japanese immigrants came from the southern prefectures of Japan during the Meiji restoration period of the late 1800s (Ishisaka & Takagi, 1982). The government was attempting to industrialize Japan in order to compete with Western nations, and the transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy spawned social unrest and unemployment. Faced with a tenuous economic future, many individuals sought a better life abroad
The lure of economic opportunities was the primary motive for young Filipino men to immigrate to America. Like other Asian immigrants before them, they held dreams of accumulating great wealth and returning to their homeland. A common practice was for a family to mortgage part of its land in order to send one son to the United States. In turn, he would send money home to pay off the mortgage or to help a brother obtain a higher education (Melendy, 1976).
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