Pioneer Asian Indian Immigration to the Pacific Coast
"So my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask
what you can do for your country."President John F. Kennedy's inaugural
address, January 20, 1961
Reasons for scarce immigration
Hindu beliefs discouraged crossing the Black
Waters to the United States.
European powers that colonized India restricted movement
of the native Indian people.
History of Indian immigration to the
1820 1898 - only 523 Indians immigrated to North
America, mostly unskilled laborers and agricultural workers.
Although some of these were students, a vast majority were
unskilled laborers from Punjab who were lured by Canadian railroad and steamship companies
to the Pacific Northwest.
After 1943, when barriers on Chinese immigration and
naturalization were lifted, Indians argued for the same rights as the Chinese.
As a result, the Asian American Citizenship Act was
signed into law by President Truman on July 3, 1946.
Gobindram was the first Indian to become a naturalized American
1947. Wives and daughters of Punjabi immigrants during the
first India Independence Day celebrated in the Yuba City-Marysville, California, area.
With few exceptions, all the wives were of Mexican descent (Photo Courtesy of Isabel Singh
Garcia, Yuba City, California.)
Funeral of Dharm Singh Jian in Arizona
Funeral of Dharm Singh Jian in Arizona. Died June 19, 1937. Source: Hari Singh
Everest (Yuba City).
1996. Mrs. Isabel Singh Garcia Mrs. Garcia is very active in
documenting and promoting Hindu-Mexican heritage in the Yuba City and Marysville,
California area. (Photo by author T.S. Sibia,
taken at the Community Memorial
Museum of Sutter County.)
1989. Sikh field workers, Huron, California. (Photo from California Farmer,
"Ethnic Farmers", 270(2):9, by Richard Steven Street, Jan. 21, 1989. Permission
They reflect the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and
multi-lingual society of India.
They are represented in many fields including academics
and entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, engineers and financiers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indian American
median family income is $60,093 as against the national median family income of $38, 885. South Asian Americans
A few Prominent Indian Americans
Bose speaker systems. 901 Direct Reflecting Speaker-System
which set a new standard for lifelike sound reproduction.
Nobel Prize in medicine and Physiology with
Marshall,Nirenberg and Robert Holley for their interpretation of the genetic code and its
function in protein synthesis.
Kalpana Chawla mission specialist on STS-87 the fourth U.S Microgravity Payload
flight on the space shuttle Columbia.
1998 Sabeer Bhatia created Hotmail for $ 2000 and later
sold to Microsoft for 400 Million dollars.
The early immigrants were persecuted because they were
The new wave of immigrants from India are educated,
trained and skilled in their respective fields.
They are a productive segment of the U. S. population,
with 72.3% participating in the work force.
Their experiences through out history have been unique and
they represent the most visible and advanced communities in the nation. And amazingly they
have done it in one generation.