Chapter 3: The Century of the Tiger

Noonan, Sheila Smith
October 2003
Korean Immigration;2003, p12
Book Chapter
Immigration from the Korean Peninsula to North America has come in three main waves. In the United States, those waves occurred during a span of 100 years, which some dubbed the Century of the Tiger. In Korean mythology, the tiger god exists in two worlds, spiritual and earthly. To better comprehend the three waves of Korean immigration to the United States, it helps to understand the history of U.S. immigration. Historically, race and ethnicity have played a role in legislation to restrict immigration in the United States. After World War I, cultural intolerance and bizarre racial theories led to new immigration restrictions. At present the annual rate of legal immigration is lower than that at earlier periods in U.S. history. Canada, which actively promotes immigration, is becoming the new home for a growing number of Koreans. Korea was the fifth-highest source country of immigrants to Canada in 1999 and 2000.


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