the forgotten children of the vietnam war

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting story on an effort by thousands of Amerasians—the abandoned children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women, born during the Vietnam War—to lobby in Washington for the Amerasian Paternity Act, which would give automatic citizenship to Amerasians born during the Vietnam and Korean wars: Children of Vietnam War servicemen seek U.S. citizenship.

It hasn't been an easy road for many of these forgotten children of the Vietnam War, treated all their lives as outsiders in Vietnam, only to be treated like refugees by the country their fathers fought for.
Called Amerasians, many were left to grow up in the rough streets and rural rice fields of Vietnam where they stood out, looked different, were taunted as "dust of life." Most were brought to the United States 20 years ago after Congress passed the Amerasian Homecoming Act, which allowed the children of American soldiers living in Vietnam to immigrate. But citizenship was not guaranteed, and today about half of the estimated 25,000 Amerasians living in the U.S. are resident aliens.
The article focuses on the story of Randy Tran, a Vietnamese pop singer who currently lives in the Bay Area. He and 21 other Amerasians flew to Washington, DC, for three days in July to lobby for the Amerasian Paternity Act. It would give Amerasians born during the Vietnam and Korean wars automatic citizenship, rather than requiring them to pass tests in English.

So far, for these sons and daughters of America, the United States hasn't quite lived up to that American dream thing we like to brag about.

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