Hard-working and Englishspeaking, the Asian Indians posed little threat to the socioeconomic fiber of the region.However, by the 1920’s the hostilities toward the growing number of "Asiatics” escalated as the competition between Asian immigrants and white workers increased.After years of fighting for congressional legislation to limit immigration, the exclusionists were successful in adopting a series of laws that led to turning away hundreds of Asian immigrants.The Immigration Act of 1917 (also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) restricted immigration from Asia.With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990, preference was given to immigrants with high technology-based skills, advanced degrees, and exceptional professional talents.Contributing to the "brain drain” in India, colleges throughout the United States hosted a significant number of Indian students, making India one of the top five sending countries.First immigrating to Vancouver, Canada, Punjabi Sikhs settled in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California to work on the Western Pacific Railroad.Legally prohibited from bringing their wives and families, some young, male Sikhs married Mexican women, creating a "Mexican Hindu” culture.
By 1990, the Indian population had increased to 786,694.
Figures include only immigrants who obtained legal permanent resident status.
Immigration records for 1820-1899 show a total of only 687 immigrants.
Leaving employment on the railroad and in the lumber mills, by 1910 Asian Indians began contracting for agricultural jobs in California, where there was a dire need for farmworkers.
Comfortable and experienced working in the fields, Asian Indians moved from working as day laborers to tenant farmers. By 1914, as prosperous landowners, the Asian Indian immigrants started moving inland to central California to establish independent ethnic agrarian communities.