Colombian Immigration to America
University Of Phoenix
In the early nineteenth century the first known Colombian immigrants settled in New York City. Among these immigrants were nurses, accountants, lab technicians, and pharmacists. The Colombian Civil War called “La Violencia” of 1948 where more than 250,000 people were killed in total after the popular presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan was assassinated forced many to flee Colombia and settle in America. The ongoing struggle with Colombia’s government and the recession also pushed many Colombians to migrate. Between 1960 and 1977 about 116,000 Colombians came to America.
Because of the signing of the Immigration Act of 1965, Colombians as well as other potential immigrants of other countries were brought to a halt when there was a limit placed on how many visas were handed out. The fact that visas were limited to only 20,000 visas per country a year along with the high unemployment rate in Colombia put pressure on many families. Colombians that were able to come to America on a temporary based visa became illegal because they stayed beyond the allotted time. “As a result the rate of undocumented immigration soared: estimates of those living in the country without permanent residency status ranged from 250,00 to 350,000 in the mid 1970s” (Sturner, n.d.). The Immigration Act of 1965 was later revised to allow more visas to be issued.
Colombians settled throughout the country in areas such as New York, New Jersey, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and Washington D.C. The late 70s and early 80s brought many Colombians to Miami, Fl. that is a city that thrives on Hispanic cultures and is very accepting of immigrants. Miami is a city that most people will speak Spanish before they even speak English, so for immigrants this allowed them to communicate and learn skills easier than in other parts of the country.
The 80’s and the 90s proved to be a tough time...
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