Minnesota Immigrant Oral Histories


Mr. and Mrs. Dinh Nguyen, New Ulm, pose with their new daughter Rachael, 1975. MNHS Photo Collection.

Vietnamese first began to arrive in Minnesota as refugees in 1975, following the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese communists during the Vietnam War. The United States arranged for the evacuation of over 125,000 members of the South Vietnamese military, their families, and others who had supported the U.S. in the war. A second wave of over two million Vietnamese arrived in the U.S. in the 1980s as "boat people", fleeing the repressive communist government. Additional Vietnamese have arrived in the U.S. under family reunification rules in the subsequent decades. As of 2009 Minnesota was home to 23,000 Vietnamese, most of whom lived in the Twin Cities.

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