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In the 18th century, the Chinese became the first Asians to settle in the United States. As a result, the rate of immigration increased in the 19th century. This was because of the Gold Rush. The first immigrants were rich Chinese who had the aim to run the business. They received a warm welcome by the Americans because they were considered to be extremely hard-working. Some also moved in order to look for jobs in hotels or industries. There was also overpopulation in China and, so there was a need to look for new settlement. However, the Chinese population started to decrease when the American government made laws chasing the Asians out of their land. Among them was the Chinese Exclusion Act. Many Chinese started to return home and this also reduced the population. This essay is aimed at analyzing the challenges encountered by two persons as their families immigrated to the United States. This is achieved by discussing the similarities and differences of their families’ background during the time of the migration. The essay also gives the overall impact of Asians immigration on the economy of the United States.
Both Guo and Liu had a Chinese origin. Philip Guo was born in Taiwan, a town in China, and Eric Liu was born in New York in the United States. Their migration to the United States was due to domestic reasons. In spite of having the same originality, Guo and Liu faced challenges as they were brought up. Some of these challenges were similar and others different.
One of the similarities in their family background was the way they were brought up. In the case of Guo, he was left by his parents when he was just eleven months old. His mother left for the United States to further her studies, and later the father left for Switzerland for business matters. During this time, the young boy was left under the care of the extended family. In this, his grandmother played a significant role. The parents later came together after five years, at the time when Guo had lost the parent-child relationship. In the case of Liu, his father passed away when the boy was young (Liu, 1998). Therefore, the mother had to spend more time in looking for ways to meet the family's needs. This resulted in him being left with some other people.
The other similar challenge was the migration and settlement. For example, at the age of twelve, Guo had stayed in three different continents, six cities, and had attended seven different schools which had different systems of education. This implied that coping with the new environment was a problem and getting along with a new way of living was a challenge. Even after that, he moved to the United States with his family. At that time he was seven and was left with another family when the father went for work. The better part of Liu’s life was that he was born in the United States. Therefore, he did not suffer the problem of settlement much. However, his mother moved from one place to another within the United States to get a way of earning a living. This was also inconvenience to some extent. However, their settlement was favored because the Chinese Exclusion Act was appealed in 1943. Also, the 1964 Immigration and Nationality Act had removed all the barriers to immigration.
Racism was also a considerable challenge to Liu and Guo. It was a time when the Asian American legend and myth were on the ground. In any matter, concerning either social or political, one’s race was a main consideration. In one time, Liu wanted to dismiss the myth, but he ended up in frustration when tried to get into a relationship with the white girls. The basis for identity was ethnicity, social class, and gender. So, Liu was against this form of identification. Guo says that, even if he was a Chinese, he felt different from the other Chinese in the streets of the China towns. This suggests that different levels of classes had a different degree of respect. Guo viewed that his communication in English was fluent and his parents were well-educated with graduate level degrees.
Liu and Guo were also the victims of the violation of Asians’ rights. It was claimed that the Asians undermined the rights of non-Asians. Thereby, the United States concluded that the Asians were possibly going to violate the rights of the Americans. As the matter of fact, the Asian tribes were looked down upon, and it was viewed that they should not have any government powers. This is caused by the failure to understand the Asian culture. These social fights can only be stopped if the level of understanding among various cultural groups is enhanced.
However, there were some differences in the family background and settlement of Liu and Guo. For instance, at a younger age, Guo was treated like a king in the extended family. This was because he was the first-born son. At the time of his birth, a male child was more valued than a female child. It was also a time when the Chinese government had implemented a one-child family to regulate the population of China which was increasing rapidly. This had resulted in the rise in abortion cases, if in any case, a fetus was suspected to be a female. The government also issued a birth permit. The permits were applied per year, and the list of the families which were supposed to conceive in a year was displayed. If a family failed to conceive in their schedule, then it had to reapply, and it was not a guarantee to get the permit. Therefore, it was a privilege to get a permit and conceive and more so to give birth to a boy. Consequently, the male population exceeded that of female at a range. This made the government ban the checking of the fetus’ sex. In the case of Liu, it seems that he lacked all that care a child deserves. Only the mother was alive and the grandmother took care of him. However, he grew up to be a clever boy, and went as far as HarvardLawSchool (Guo, 2007).
The other difference is that, at the age of twelve years, Guo was able to communicate in three different languages including Chinese. On the other hand, Liu was unable to read Chinese even if he knew how to communicate. This implies that Guo was brought up by a caring individual who was ready to instruct him from the ground roots. Guo grew up even knowing his background, unlike Liu who was born and raised in the United States.
In general, the Asian migration has contributed to the development of the United States. At the mid 19th century, Asian Americans became a part in the entertainment industry. They acquired various roles in acting films. They have also set up businesses like stores, laundries, hotels and have become dominant entrepreneurs. In so doing, they have become rather influential in the American economy. Asian Americans have also acquired top political positions in America. This is due to the increased voting population. They have also been incorporated to the U.S military.
However, there were some reactions on the immigration of Asians. On one side the United States government reacted, and on the other side the common people. The government allowed in all the immigrants before the start of the First World War, provided one had a white skin color. This however, came to change towards the end of the 19th century. Some groups were restricted from going to the United States. For example in 1875, prostitutes, criminals and drug addicts were not allowed to immigrate. It was worse in 1917, when the United States government excluded all Asians from immigrating to America. The common people also started to treat the immigrants with hostility at the end of 19th century.