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The Good ImmigrantsHow the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority$
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Madeline Y. Hsu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164021

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164021.001.0001

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The Wartime Transformation of Student Visitors into Refugee Citizens, 1943–1955

The Wartime Transformation of Student Visitors into Refugee Citizens, 1943–1955

(p.104) Chapter 5 The Wartime Transformation of Student Visitors into Refugee Citizens, 1943–1955
The Good Immigrants

Madeline Y. Hsu

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how the Chinese people present in America on temporary visas as students, technical trainees, diplomats, sailors, and so forth suddenly found themselves stranded by the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War. For instance, C.Y. Lee, the author of Flower Drum Song, was rescued from refugee status by changes in immigration laws and procedures that allowed resident Chinese in good standing to receive permanent status. On behalf of this group of elite, highly educated Chinese, the State Department and Congress made accommodations rather than force such usefully trained workers to return to a now hostile state. Lee's transformation from student to refugee and then to legal immigrant mirrors that of thousands of other Chinese intellectuals who received American assistance to remain, enter the U.S. workforce, and become citizens.

Keywords:   Chinese people, Chinese Civil War, Communism, C.Y. Lee, Flower Drum Song, immigration laws, State Department, Congress, U.S. workforce

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