Vietnamese Amerasian Resettlement:

Education, Employment, and Family Outcomes in the United States

PEMD-94-15: Published: Mar 31, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the outcomes for Vietnamese Amerasians who resettle in the United States, focusing on their education, employment, housing, and health care.

GAO found that: (1) most Amerasians came to the United States with poor English, education, job skills, and family support and experienced difficulty in trying to adjust to American life; (2) although Amerasians expected to improve their education, learn English, and acquire job skills upon resettlement, many received no training or very limited training because of their need to find jobs and support themselves or because of lack of family support; (3) Amerasians cited contacts, willingness to work for low pay, and being pleasant with others as positive factors in gaining employment, and poor English skills, lack of experience, lack of transportation, and the presence of children as negative factors in gaining employment; (4) although resettlement agencies provide housing to Amerasians for a limited period, they must pay their housing costs through refugee cash assistance or employment income; (5) while some families experienced difficulty in finding affordable housing, many families chose to live with other families or in poor neighborhoods to minimize expenses and often chose neighborhoods with high concentrations of Amerasians and Vietnamese; (6) after the initial resettlement process, Amerasians had difficulty obtaining health care because of their lack of information, English language skills, and transportation; and (7) most Amerasians reported being happy to be in the United States because they suffered less discrimination, had more freedom, and experienced fewer material needs.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Amerasian resettlement has dropped off substantially in the last year. As a result of this, efforts to monitor their situation have been reduced as well. There are no other long-term agency efforts under way in support of Amerasians, however, efforts being conducted with respect to assistance and monitoring of the immigrant group may be applicable to the Amerasian population in the United States.

    Matter: Given that the purpose of the Amerasian Homecoming Act was to offer Amerasians the opportunity to come to the United States and to help them get resettled once they arrived here, it is important that the U.S. government monitor and assess their situation after resettlement. Studies like this one provide a first step in examining how well Amerasians are doing in this country. Congress may wish to encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to determine what strategies are effective in addressing the needs of Amerasians--particularly the needs identified here in the areas of job training and social support systems--and then to monitor their progress.


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