Indians Immigrating To America

Their homeland has the second largest population in the world, yet in America
they form one of our smallest minorities. Americans were influenced by their
beliefs long before the first immigrants arrived, and an important interchange
of ideas has continued to the present day. Although many came to America as
early as the turn of the century, they were denied citizenship until a
congressional act granted it in 1946. Now they are students and teachers in our
universities; they are artists and writers, musicians and scientists. Their
contributions to industry, commerce, and agriculture have been valuable to

America and to the world. Who are these people? They are the East Indians in

America. Asian Indians have supplied innumerable contributions to the culture
and well being of the United States; the majority of these contributions are
geared notably to engineering and the sciences. The reason for immigration in
the period from 1830-1890 is quite clear. India was in a great shape. However
when the British took over India, they depleted the country of all her wealth
and gave her poor citizens no choice but to leave. The main reason why everybody
wants to go to the United States is because if they would go somewhere else,
like France or Japan although they would get higher wages, there is much greater
chance of getting harassed, arrested or deported in those countries as opposed
to the United States (Takai 32). Here in the United States land remained
plentiful and cheap. Jobs were abundant and labor was scarce. The United States,
in the nineteenth century, remained a strong magnet to immigrants, with offers
of jobs and land for farms (Hess 12). The Jews came for religious freedom,

Italians and Asians came for work, and the Russians came to escape persecution.

America had jobs and religious freedom. Consequently, America was referred to in
many countries as the "Land of Opportunity". This is land is also
often called the "melting Pot of the World". This is because it is
believed that people from all over the world come to the United States and loose
their cultural identity and 'melt' into or assimilate into the American culture.

However, nowadays, the above is an unfair statement to make. Nowadays with the
growing Chinese restaurants, Indian grocery stores, and European languages is
school, etc., one can say that individual cultures are trying hard to voice
their distinction amongst the overall "American culture". One can
therefore refer to the United States as the "Salad Bowl of the World"
where every culture has its own flavor, just like in a salad, where every
vegetable has its own taste even though it has a common dressing, the American
culture. Amongst the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans, etc. and other immigrants,
the East Indians represented a big group of those people who wanted to be part
of the "American culture". The East Indians, who came to America, were
mostly spread out in little groups up and down the West Coast (Pavri 56). Their
story is an especially important part of the history of Asian Americans, for
they were a new kind of immigrant. The large majorities of the first immigrants
from India were Punjabis, from a region called the Punjab. Most of these
immigrants were young men, between 16 and 35 years old (Daniels 33). Many of
them were married; however, they did not bring their wives across the sea with
them. Their family and community ties remained strong after they left home; they
came to America in small groups of cousins and village neighbors, and these
relationships formed a network of interconnections among them in the new country
as they lived and worked together. They had many reasons for leaving their
homeland. They were being repressed by the British rule and had no land to farm
on. To make matters worse, famine devastated India from 1899 to 1902. Thus,
large-scale immigration began in 1906, when six hundred Asians applied to enter
the United States (Millis 32). These families became the basis for the new East

Indian communities. They had come to the United States with high hopes,
expecting to make their fortunes, but they discovered that life in America was
unexpectedly challenging. Some found it hard to get work. Moreover, those who
had jobs lived a life very different from the life they have known in India (Karitala

2). Instead of belonging to a settled community of families, they traveled from
place to place with their work gangs. And although most of them had been farmers
of farm laborers in the Punjab region of India, in