During the 1960s and 1970s, America was involved in a war in Vietnam. Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia, on the Indochina peninsula. From the 1950s into the 1970s there was a great deal of conflict in the area. After the war, Vietnamese refugees started coming to the United States. During the 1970s, about 120,000 Vietnamese came, and hundreds of thousands more continued to arrive during the next two decades.
In 1980, the government passed the Refugee Act, a law that was meant specifically to help refugees who needed to come to the country.
Refugees come because they fear persecution due to their race, religion, political beliefs, or other reasons. The United States and other countries signed treaties, or legal agreements, that said they should help refugees. The Refugee Act protected this type of immigrant's right to come to America.