Filipinos are one of the most populous Asian groups in the United States, due to the Philippines' former status as a U.S. colony. However, Minnesota is home to a rather small Filipino-American population, numbering 8,800 in 2009. The first Filipinos came to Minnesota as students at the University of Minnesota in the 1910s and 20s and as recruited agricultural laborers. Small numbers of Filipinos continued to move to Minnesota until the 1960s, when liberalized immigration laws allowed a large increase in Asian immigration to the United States. Some Filipinos came to the U.S. to escape repression under the Ferdinand Marcos regime in the 1970s and 80s. Most Filipinos in Minnesota now are professionals who arrived after 1965 or the children and grandchildren of these immigrants.