Before 1975, not many Vietnamese lived in North America. Over the past three decades, however, waves of immigrants have arrived into the United States and Canada. Many of these immigrants were refugees, fleeing a country that remained unstable long after a devastating civil war and reunification in 1976. During the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese arrived to North America through the Orderly Departure Program, established by the United Nations.In general, Vietnamese immigrants have found freedoms in North America they were denied in their homeland, but many still struggle to overcome obstacles like prejudice and poverty. With recent improvements in U.S./Vietnamese relations, there is reason to believe the immigration process will become easier for future newcomers.
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