During the 1960s and early 1970s, American troops supported the government of South Vietnam. After the fall of the South Vietnamese government to North Vietnamese forces in April 1975, refugees from the unified country began arriving in the United States under U.S. government programs. Among these refugees were the sons and daughters of Vietnamese women and American men who had been stationed in Vietnam during the war. The physically distinct Amerasians were often treated as impoverished castaways in Vietnam, targeted as objects of prejudice and discrimination by other Vietnamese who sometimes referred to the mixed-race children as bui doi (“the dust of life”) or “trash.” Upon arriving in the United States and entering American schools, Amerasians frequently had to overcome severely disadvantaged backgrounds, as well ...

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