Slavic immigrants from southeastern Europe's Balkan Peninsula began coming to North America in significant numbers during the 1800s, although the nation of Yugoslavia wasn't actually formed until 1918. For the next four decades, however, the United States and Canada welcomed relatively few Yugoslavians-in part because of discriminatory immigration quotas and, later, because of Yugoslavia's closed-border policies. But in the 1960s, economic necessity forced Yugoslavia to permit workers to leave, and the United States and Canada reformed their immigration laws, resulting in a notable influx of Yugoslavian immigrants. As this book reveals, however, Yugoslavian immigration to North America exploded after 1991, when the country began a decade-long descent into ethnic violence and civil war. Today the recent immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, along with the descendants of those who arrived earlier, continue to preserve their rich heritage even as they make their way in North America.
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