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The International Refugee Organization in 1947-51 and the Inter Governmental Committee of European migration from 1952 to the present have sponsored very substantial migration. They have organized the very difficult cross-cultural migrations that often required special financial assistance and on the part of the United States, special legislation. Almost half of the net migration into the United States in this period came under special legislation incorporated in the displaced Persons Act of 1948 (341,000) and the Refugee Act of 1953 (2,14,000).
The resumption of overseas emigration made possible the resettlement of the displaced persons. It also provided some outlet for the agrarian population in Southern Europe. In Portugal, which is by some measures the most over populated country of Western Europe, Emigration, absorbed about 30% of the natural increase in the population in the postwar decade. Such emigration has contributed to the reduction of unemployment and under employment in the region.
Asia has participated little in the international migration of the decade. Nevertheless overseas and international migration is historically of some importance in Asia.
Ancient India was master of navigation and that is why it could spread its cultural empire up to South America and Central America. The distant islands of Java and Sumatra and Thailand and Indo-China-all were once the centres of Hindu culture and still feel the influence. Emigration was started by Europeans to serve their own colonial interests. They were induced to leave their homes because by habit and nature they were sincere and laborious and were capable of serving the European interests. They were duped and deceived and almost forced to go for looking after the sugar plantations in those colonial centres where climatic conditions were suitable to Indian life style. Mauritius and Fiji are today Indian majority countries. Trinidad has a sizable population of Indians and this applies to Surinam as well in South America.
In South Africa too laborers were sent to establish plantation and construct the railways. Later on merchants, shopkeepers and moneylenders etc. also migrated to these lands. East Africa consisting of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda had a sizable number of Indians. China under the pressure of population had migratory trend and still immigrants from China are going to many countries of the world. Chinese in sizable number have shifted to United States, Canada, Australia, Peru, Hawaii, Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and East Africa. They were previously engaged in mining work but they are working now in different fields of life .with skill and sincerity and have helped the countries they migrated to improve their economy. Japanese islands as a result of over population gave inducements to the people to migrate. Before 1930 or so emigration was not a regular process in Japan, but soon the emigration started to two directions. Towards the north it was for Korea and Manchuria and towards the south it was for Philippines. Asian immigration when compared to European immigration stands nowhere. While European immigration was the result of over population economic considerations, the Asiatic migration was somewhat imposed and not spontaneous particularly in the case of India. European migration was also the result of colonization of many Asian and African countries. Emigrants who went there, were either colonizers or administrators or traders.
The quantitative significance of such migration is suggested by the estimate that in 1940 over eight million Chinese were living outside of China, chiefly in Asian countries. Three and one-half million Japanese were living outside the homelands, and four million Indians were estimated to be living outside India. In the inter-war period, there were many sizable migrations from China to South East Asian-countries and especially to Malaya where net Chinese immigration reached a peak of 181,000 in 1937. In the 1920's there was a net emigration of a million from India, chiefly to Burma, Sri Lanka and Malaya. Since the war, most of these movements have been stopped or reversed by political developments. In this period the main Asian countries of immigration achieved independence and then, if not earlier, imposed severe restrictions on immigration. Voluntary international migration in Asia has essentially come to a stand still, unless we consider under this head the continuing migration of Jews from many countries to Israel.
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