Migrants as a Result of the
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
the end of organized Filipino labor importation,
the increase in the number of Filipinos
migrating to the U.S. in the 1950s was as
a result of petitioned spouses and children.
But the Immigration and Nationality Act
of 1965 allowed for a new and different
wave of Filipino migration. The law allowed
for a "dual chain" system of immigration
consisting of the "relative-selective"
and "occupational" migration.
Under "relative-selective immigration,"
Filipinos came as petitioned relatives of
previous migrants who have become U.S. citizens.
the other hand, the "occupational immigration"
clause in the 1965 immigration law was in
response to the need for more professionals,
specifically in the medical field, in the
U.S. Thousands of Filipino professionals,
mostly doctors and nurses, arrived in the
U.S. as complete families, i.e. with their
spouses and children. Most of them ended
up in the east coast, thus creating an occupational
distinction between Filipino communities
in the east coast and in the west coast
a result of this dual chain of immigration,
the number of Filipinos in the U.S. multiplied
manifold. Steffi San Buenaventura claims
that in 1970 there were 343,060 Filipinos
in the U.S; in 1980, it rose to 782,895;
and in 1990, it was 1,406,770. She notes
that this post-1965 immigration had few
links with the pre-1965 immigration experience.
In the 1990s, California and Hawaii continue
to host the largest number of Filipinos
in the U.S. This is followed by Illinois,
New York, and New Jersey which absorbed
much of the post-1965 immigration. But,
by and large, Filipinos can be found all
over the fifty states of the U.S., making
them the fastest growing Asian community
in the U.S.
more information on the Immigration and
Naturalization Act, check out the INS website: